365 Gratitude Project: Week 3

Wake up every day with at least 1 thing that makes you grateful you are alive, who you are, and exactly where you are– that was the mission.

  Traditions of any sort. Friday Junk Food Night! (Hey, don’t judge me!)

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A husband that SHOWS he thinks about me when we are apart. AKA Flowers For No Particular Reason Other Than He Loves Me.

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The Opportunity for Random Acts of Kindness. We left cookies in the mailbox for our mail carrier just because. (This was after Christmas, just a week ago actually)

Even in the real world – Kindness Begets Kindness.

My mail carrier, whom I have never met before, left me a handwritten note about the need to change my address for my maiden name as well because he was concerned that it would get lost. He even left me the forms I would need.  Acts of Kindness do spawn other Acts of Kindness. Find a way to start a Kindness chain today!

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Natural, old-school, God-given free entertainment: SNOW.

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A Garage. (See #4)

I spent YEARS having to wake up 2 hours earlier than usual during the winter to account for the time it would take to dig out the car. This is my first time ever having a garage in the winter. My son (you can kinda see him in the backseat there) can get right in and it’s warm–no more seeing his breath on the way to school.

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  Unlimited Knowledge in Book Form. I love reading. I love knowledge. I am a “genre jumper” (meaning I like it ALL).

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Being Re-Taught The Way To Read The Bible.  As a child it was a no-no to mark up your Bible, but when I found my new (and forever) church home, I learned that it’s not only okay, but helpful and common to underline, write, etc in my Bible.  It was symbolic for me of the relationship we have with Christ.

We are not to make a shrine, we are to make an engaged relationship. 🙂

 

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365 Gratitude Project: Week 2

Wake up every day with at least 1 thing that makes you grateful you are alive, who you are, and exactly where you are– that was the mission.

Week 2

  A home that was built properly. We keep our heat set around 62 and our house is never lower than 68-9. We just bought this house in December; it is 3× bigger than our last place and 2× cheaper in power bill. I am so blessed!

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Divine Intervention. I was having a crappy day and felt world-weary. I went into my car for my lunch to “regroup” and my favorite, most inspirational song came on my fav. station (WIBI), which also was exactly what I needed to hear. (While I’m Waiting, by John Waller)

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Being the one to share a first time experience with my son. (This is a picture from the summer, but it summarizes an ongoing thing) Neither my son or myself had ever been to a live baseball game or stadium. We shared a St. Louis Cardinals game experience together this summer. It was the best feeling in the world. Oh, and our team WON. 🙂

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Cheapo rub-on tattoos. They bring extreme joy to kids, are easy to wash off, and are crazy cheap. That’s an all around win.

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TASTE BUDS.

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My mini-me. We are a Green Bay Packers loving house. It is the one thing that I am not outnumbered about. Haha, my poor husband is the odd one on this front.

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A teenager that isn’t “too cool” to participate in family shenanigans. He is such a good sport. He is such a rare jewel among teens. He is such a blessing to me!

Cheapskate Run Amok

No such thing as "one time use" in my house

Hello, my  name is Michelle, and I’m so frugal/cheap that I wash my baggies and reuse them. I admit this. It didn’t occur to me that this is odd behavior until I was at my parent’s house over Christmas. This is how I discovered I have surpassed frugal and dipped into cheap:

Mom: “Do you girls want to take home leftovers?”
Sister: “Yes, but I didn’t bring any Tupperware.”
Mom: “No problem hon, I have the big baggies.”
Sister: “Oh, well no way then.”
Me: “Oooh, I’ll take mine and hers then! I love baggies! I’ll just wash them and reuse them so I have more for packing school… lun..”

*All eyes stare at me*

Me: “…ches. What?!
My Dear Husband knowing what the stares mean without anyone using words: “Mmmhmmm, they are hanging all over the house to dry…”

*His sentence drops off because I kicked him lovingly nudged his shin with my foot.*

I am not ashamed of such behavior. I have money for important things because I save so much from such odd little tricks. I mean, why nickel-and-dime yourself?

I’m on a roll now so I’ll go ahead and tell you this little cheapskate anecdote:

My son’s birthday is a week before Christmas. He wanted a themed birthday party so I spent money on the tablecloth, banner, and plates. We had his party, and then I had that plastic tablecloth that (we all know) he will have no interest in by next year. I couldn’t see wasting the money I spent on it for just a 1 time, 2 hour use. So I cut it up and wrapped some presents with it. It worked out perfectly!!

(Gentle) Mockery ensued. I’m actually more proud of my ways than embarrassed. They say cheap, I say resourceful.

What are some of your best cheap/frugal/resourceful ways??

365 Gratitude Project: Week1

Wake up every day with at least 1 thing that makes you grateful you are alive, who you are, and exactly where you are– that was the mission.

Week 1

  My Family. They are everything in this world to me. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to have no family. I should spend more time every day (especially when they  make me nuts!) thanking God that I have them.

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Scripture, Quiet Time w/ God, and a Journal. This is where my strength and honesty come from. Starting or ending a day this way is what makes it possible to keep going.

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Fresh Ground Coffee from whole beans every morning. Um, really, need I say more?

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The Perfect Bedside Setup. Nighttime is my husband and I’s quiet time together. We turn on our lamp and in the soft glow we can talk about our day and read our Bibles.

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Crockpots. The working mothers prized possession. If my house was on fire (and the kid made it out already), the crockpot would be the only thing I grab! Organic chili is pretty amazing, too.

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Old-fashioned stationery sets for good ol “snail mail”. Nothing says “I care” like a mailed, handwritten letter instead of a quickly typed email that a monkey could do in a split second with very little genuine thought or care.

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Surprise Love Notes For No Reason! My son slipped this in next to my breakfast. That made my WHOLE day. He is such a blessing to me!

2012: Resolutions Unlike Infomercials

“Mission: Better Me” time is upon us again. I’m still trying to shake off my self-disappointment from the epic fail that was my last resolution. It’s ironic really how my resolve to become better actually renders me even more broken and paralyzed then I was the previous year because of my imminent drop in self-worth from failure.

I realized that somewhere along the lines something went haywire in the whole one-year-to-the-better-me scheme.

My resolutions actually remind me of infomercials: for just 10 easy installments of a piece of your self-worth, you too can be the perfect you that God intended and never have to try ever again! Hey, that prize is big and the wording  makes it seem you are giving very little–yes? I mean, what’s just a little chunk of disappointment, self-doubt, and a long “losing streak” against your morale going to effect you?

I don’t recall having ever accomplished my New Year Resolution(s) all the way through a year. So I discussed it with myself.

Me: “Why do I never complete my New Year Resolution? What’s the problem?”
Myself: “Could the problem be…*gulp*… ME?!”
I: “Pffft, no way.”
Myself: “Yup. You have terrible taste in resolutions.”

After this inner dialogue, I took some time to really examine not only my past choices but what motives drove me to said choices. It turns out all of my resolutions have been completely superficial and did nothing to promote God or even righteous living. All my goals were to promote my own image or to make myself  feel “happier.” (Um, no wonder they all failed!) Shallow resolutions are an attempt to fill a hole that I feel.  I believe we all know somewhere inside of us though that only a closer relationship with God can fill that hole.

So the new question I pose to myself (and to you if you’re with me):  what resolution(s) can help me become closer to God or to promote Him and his lifestyle?  Here is my list so far. I am adding and subtracting from it still.

  1. Read my Bible every day for at least 30 minutes, alone and uninterrupted. New house rule: No blood, no bug mom. No more “squeezing it in” around other things.
  2. Memorize 1 piece of Scripture each month for the whole year. No restrictions on which piece.
  3. Do the 365 Gratitude Project all the way through.
  4. Start my Bucket List.
  5. Post to my blog 2ce a week.
  6. Find a charity and volunteer routinely.
  7. Be less guarded; listen more, actively care, and hug someone (not in my family) 1ce a week. (I have serious personal space issues that I need to work through.)
  8. Exercise 2ce a week. I figure the lower amount keeps me away from vanity interceding, but keeps me focused on being healthy so that I am not physically restricted from any task God wants me to accomplish.
  9. Learn to say no without feeling guilty.
  10. Scrapbook 1ce a week or every 2 weeks.
  11. Set a specific day & time for Devotions with my son. No more “squeezing it in” around other things.

Well, this is all I have so far. I researched success in new year goals and the overall consensus was that if the goal(s) is specific and measurable then success is more likely.

I also read that an accountability partner almost triples the likelihood of success. So, would you be my accountability partner for one or all of these? Or do you  have one or more that you think should make the list?