Couponing for the Rest of Us

Simplify Sunday 1-8


Debby McCuiston, the “Queen of Clutter-Free”, does a segment for us each Sunday on simplifying our lives, getting rid of “clutter”, and focusing on what’s important. We look forward to her words of wisdom each week & hope you enjoy it too! Take it away Debby….

Since it’s the start of yet another year, it is time to make a few changes. I don’t really do the whole New Year’s resolution thing, because all I wind up doing is lying to myself and setting unrealistic goals for myself, then within about 2 or 3 weeks wind up with a guilt complex that will last the rest of the year.

So this year I thought I would approach the New Year from a new angle, “What do I need to do to make this the best year yet?”

I wanted to make this the year I set some goals for myself and had to plan to make them into a reality. So over the last few weeks I have taken a look at where I want to be this time next year and what it will take to get there. I have come to realize that you can have dreams but without a vision to see where you want to go you fail to make that dream a reality.

As I thought about this the main question that kept rising to the surface was what will it take to make ME happy? First I had to decide what the picture of happy looks like for me; to me it comes down to being successful at the goals I set for myself. I found this to be very true because the things that make me unhappy are the things that I have failed to follow thru on. So with that as my main goal for this up and coming year I was able to come up with a doable list for 2012.

As a mother and a Christian we have been told that we must put others first at all times. We put our kids first, our husbands first, neighbors, strangers, stray dogs, sad cats, whom ever or whatever happens to cross our path we believe must come first. It doesn’t matter the toll it takes on our physical or mental health, we just keep going, believing it to be the “cross we must carry”. It has gotten to be the measure of our spiritual walk. So to appear to be “spiritual” we burn the candle at both ends, doing it all, all the time for everyone. Really? Do we really believe that the God that loves us so much and created us for His glory measures our love for Him by how much we do? Yes, we are to live a life serving others and should have a servants heart, but not to the point that we lose our focus and our health.

So many of us are sick and tired of being sick and tired! It’s because the plans that we believe God has for us require us to be all things to all people! NOT TRUE! In reality that sounds like an ego out of control, we believe we must fix every problem for all the people in our lives. That’s not our job; we are to be a willing vessel to be used by God allowing Him to mold us to be a usable vessel. But we think we can take on the role of the master carpenter, no longer following the plan but making the plan for our life and those around us. Wow! How did things get so out of whack? I believe that Satan’s goal is to get us off track, not off by much, just enough we lose our focus and get so busy that we aren’t doing what we are called to do, it becomes a competition to the point we burn our self out and end up on the heap of burnt out, do nothing ever again Christians.

I want to finish well!! So this year I am looking at the job I am called to do and how to best carry that out with my sanity in tack. So I have come up with a few goals:

  1. To eat healthy and treat my physical body as a gift that I can offer up to God for service.
  2. To become a strong woman physically, mentally and spiritually
  3. To understand that taking care of myself is NOT selfish or unchristian
  4. To get enough sleep, giving my body time to rest and heal
  5. To spend time in His word, to feed my soul
  6. To exercise daily to have a healthy body so that I can encourage others by setting a good example. That means sticking to the exercise plan every day no matter if I feel like it or not!
  7. To not allow others into my life that’s single purpose in this life is to be negative and unproductive.
  8. To do nice things for myself each day. This is not selfish, this is about teaching me allow myself to be valued and loved. Others treat us, like we treat our self and how we allow others to treat us. Would you allow your children to be treated like you treat yourself?
  9. To be proud of the progress I am making no matter how big or small. We cannot give to others what we do not have ourselves. If we want to give encouragement, we must set up a plan to encourage our self as we see progress and growth toward our goals.
  10. To declutter my home by only keeping items that add value and beauty to my life and family.
  11. To take time each day to invest in the lives of the people that God places in my life and to understand that my job is not to save the world.(that has already been done by my heavenly Father)
  12. To rest in the knowledge that God is in control and He does not need my advice or approval of His plan. (I know—Surprise!!)
  13. To live this life knowing that it is a journey not a sprint! Take time to enjoy the view!
  14. To live with intention, not just let life happen to me but to be ready and watching for opportunities to let God work thru me
  15. To love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul and mind! Then loving my family as an outward expression of the love my heavenly Father has for me. To graciously except His unmerited love even though I do not deserve it and cannot earn it.

I look forward to working this year to make each of these goals a reality! Let’s start this year off with a plan that will allow us to see progress and growth. Declutter one small space each day, that’s progress! Ready, Set, Go! into the new year with purpose and intention.

Bless others as you have been blessed!!

Debby

queenofclutterfree@yahoo.com


10 Tips to Keep Your Family from Catching School Germs!

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My 6 year old started sniffling today – and while my brain registered that it was very likely his allergies kicking in and not the flu – it did remind me that we’ve forgotten to get back into the after-school routine we began last year.  Or as I like to call it – Operation Decontamination.

We were getting sick so often from the kids bring home school germs, that I began having them wash their hands and arms as soon as they walked into the door and change into play clothes, putting their germy school clothes into the hamper.
I know it may sound a bit over-the-top, but it was the only way I could think of to stop our whole family from constantly getting whatever was going around the elementary school.

Here are my Top 10 Tips to keep your family free of school-borne illness:

1 ) Keep anti-bacterial wipes in the car, to de-germ as soon as possible after school pickups

2 ) Wash your hands the minute you walk in the door

3 ) Change their clothes upon arriving home

4 ) Sneeze into tissues and then toss them immediately – sneezing into an elbow or sleeve is also better than a hand.

5 ) Take Vitamins (Especially C) to keep their (and your) immune systems strong and resilient

6 ) Teach your kids not to share things like thermoses, cups, food, etc… at school

7 ) Stay informed about illnesses spreading around the school, and don’t be afraid to keep your child home for a “Sick Day” once in awhile when the risk of catching something is high.  In the long run, it can prevent them, and you, from having to take extra time off school or work.

8 ) When your kids DO come home sick, switch to paper towels instead of cloth towels for a few days so they won’t spread the germs to other siblings or adults.

9 ) Teach kids to wash hands for at least 20 seconds (That’s how long it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice)

10 ) Exercise, Plenty of Sleep, and Healthy Eating are tried and true ways to keep your body’s defenses up!

 

What do you do to make sure your family stays healthy all year long?

The 7-day Doubt Diet Day 7: Fear of Failure

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If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (its free HERE).  If you haven’t started yet, it’s okay.  Each post remains available for your reference anytime, anywhere at your convenience. It couldn’t get any easier than that.
 

Day 7: Getting Up Again
Taken in part from Chapter 7 & 12
Food for thought: “Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” (Proverbs 24:16 NIV)

Renee surveyed over twelve hundred women for her book, A Confident Heart, and discovered two of the biggest triggers that paralyze us with self-doubt.

  1. Fear of Past Failures
  2. Fear of Failing Again 

Have you failed?  I know I have.  Throughout this week as we’ve gone through each day of the 7-day Doubt Diet God has opened my eyes to many different areas of my mind that he wants to renew.  Just by referring back to the titles of day 1-6 and there is a common thread.  Don’t Throw Away Your Confidence, Beat Up or Built Up, Trigger Points, Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder, But I don’t have Anything Special to Offer, Measuring Up, and Getting up Again – are all issues that reside between my ears.

These aren’t the 7 areas that God wants me to change about myself so that I can measure up to his standard.  Instead, these are areas of my life that God wants me to recognize and set me from.  It goes back to that “waiting for him to zap me,” from day one – I HAVE TO DO THIS.  Yes, he will walk with me every step of the way, but he won’t make me. 

In every area that we’ve talked about not only are their false beliefs about ourselves but also lies about who God thinks we are.  He wants us to have the freedom he died to give us.  He already knows we are going to fall – it’s clearly stated in today’s chapter, the righteous fall.  If we didn’t we wouldn’t need God.  When we fall, it opens our heart to hear Gods voice.  Every time we fail on our own it creates the perfect opportunity for God to step into our mess and speak to our hearts. 

Failure Isn’t Final!
Are their failures in our past that are holding us hostage?  Not hostage to our failure, hostage to our thoughts about our failure.   If we continue to condem ourselves then we remain stuck, when in reality God is saying get up.  Don’t allow the lies of the enemy to convince you that you can’t get up again. 

Not only can we get up again, we can move forward further than we were before.  Yes, failures bring shame, fear, insecurity,  anxiety, etc.  When we choose to get up and get out from where we’ve been then God can move us to a new place we never thought we were capable of going.  Every failure in a new opportunity for growth, wisdom, humility, and dependence on God.

I can’t believe that today’s the last day of our 7 day Doubt Diet.  I hope that you have enjoyed it as much as i have.  I pray that we all grab hold of this message no matter what comes our way as we take God’s hand and trust His heart.

Doubt Diet Tip: I can’t guarantee you won’t fail, but I can help you set yourself up to succeed! Healthy eating requires good planning, especially packing healthy snacks for in between meals. In the same way, we can plan for healthy spiritual snacks from God’s Word. That way we have easy access to truth that can keep us on track and help us lose the weight of our self-doubts.
In chapter 12 of A Confident HeartI’ve included a chart of thirty-one promises to replace our defeating doubts with God’s empowering perspective. For the doubt diet, I’ve created a FREE DOWNLOAD of some of them and you can find them on my website. See the link below, please.
© 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.

 

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Giveaways! Lots of ways to Enter!

We are giving away 4 copies of Renee’s book, “A Confident Heart,” $50 Southwest Airlines Gift Card, $25 Kroger Gift Card, and a $20 Target Gift Card. Plus we’ve added 4 packs of coupon holders (10 per pack).
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New Entry Option: In today’s devotion, day 7 we talked about fear of failure.  Are you afraid of failing?  Do you recognize God’s ability to redeem us from our failures? 

How to Enter:
  • Leave a comment – What’s the first doubt or insecurity that pops into your mind.below
  • Join T2$ and a A Confident Heart on fb (Earn an entry for each) .
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  • Follow Renee Swope on Twitter.

Bonus Entries:

  • Post the following on your fb wall: http://tinyurl.com/3evtz6m
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  • Leave a comment on any of the devotions in the series the links to days 1-5 are listed above.
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Reminder: We don’t want to miss any of your entries, please leave a comment for each.
The giveaway is open until Sunday, September 18th at 11:59 PST to US residents only. Winners will be notified by email. After 48hours if there is no response a new winner will be chosen.

The 7-day Doubt Diet Day 6: Measuring Up

If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (its free HERE) as I won’t copy each day’s entire devotion. We’ll go through the devotion each day together, sharing scripture, encouragement, doubts, fears, and insecurities that have taken up residence in our hearts. If this is your first time joining us, I want you to know I do not have it all together and I have faced doubts and insecurities my entire life. We are in this together it’s a “sharing” thing.
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  • Day 4: Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder
  • Day 5: But I don’t Have Anything Special to Offer
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    Day 6: Measuring Up
    Taken in part from Chapter 6
    Food for thought: “When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.” (2 Cor. 10:12 NIV)
     
    When I started reading today’s devotion, I felt burdened.  I’ve read every single comment that ya’ll have sent in, and so many of us (I’m not saying you because I’m right here with you) believe that we aren’t good enough.  That we’ll never do enough, be a good enough wife or mother, or that we’ll ever do anything right.  It is one thing knowing that I feel that way, after a while I guess I had gotten used to that accusing voice in the back of my head.  However, when I read what your sweet hearts struggle with I got fighting mad with Satan. 
     
     
    This has been my prayer the past four years, because of my own struggles.  God let me see me the way you see me. Help me to believe I am who you say I am, not who Satan wants to convince me I am.  If we ever grab hold of our God given destiny, and trust God’s heart.  Satan knows what kind of impact we will have on the kindgom of God.  That is why he is relentless and determined to stop us.
     
    Fight back, girls fight.  Don’t just accept how you feel as truth.  Above all things our heart is deceptive.  I wish I could look each of you in the eye right now and tell you how valuable you are, that God doesn’t make mistakes and he created you.  Who?  Yes you, even with all the weird stuff you do or strange habits, or crazy hair that you don’t like.  Whatever none of those things define you.  It doesn’t matter if you are short or tall, big or small, red, purple green or white God did not make a mistake.  When he created you, yes listen closely when he created you – he was proud of his handiwork and that has not changed.  No matter what we do, it doesn’t change who we belong to. 
     
    I wish I could hug each one of you who doesn’t feel like you measure up.  I would tell you that……..
  • If you are breathing you have something to offer.  God is not finished with you yet, you are so special to him. 
  • I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Jeremiah 29:11
  • You are enough just the way you are.
  • God isn’t waiting for you to be perfect. 
  • We will disappoint people who love us, because we won’t always meet their expectations.  That is okay, God didn’t create us to keep other people happy.
  • If you lost a job, or are waiting for a house to sell - nothing is too big for God.  The state our economy is in did not take him by surprise.  He is able. (Ephesians 3:20)
  • This one is for me too – Stop!  Quit allowing the enemy of our soul access to our mind and heart.  Kick his tail out.  If we hear a negative thought, doubt, shame, insecurity, etc in your head it’s not God.  Therefore, let’s commit to each other that instead of believing his truth lets expose it as a lie.
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    Just like on day 2 – It won’t happen just because it’s possible.  

     I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I need God the most I resist getting into the word.  I know it will make me feel better, I know it will give me peace.  Can you relate?  After hearing how the 7-day Doubt Diet has resonated in so many hearts I am certain that God wants to use this time, this season to begin plowing up our minds.  Out with the old, in with the new.  We have but one choice to make, will we cooperate?

    I pray for each of you that you won’t stop fighting, you won’t stop running after God until you recieve what is yours - A Confident Heart.

    Excert From Day 6 – A Message from Renee

    Yet Satan wants us to focus on our flaws and feelings of inadequacy, then exhaust our energy figuring out how to hide them. But we don’t have to go along with his schemes. Instead we can recognize his lies, refute his temptations with truth, and focus on God’s acceptance, security, and significance. Then we can thank God for His provision and His promises that remind us of who we are in Him.

    I am accepted . . .
    Ephesians 1:3–8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
    Colossians 1:13–14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.
    Colossians 2:9–10 I am complete in Christ.

     
    I am secure . . .
    Romans 8:28 I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.
    Romans 8:31–39 I am free from condemnation. I cannot be separated from God’s love.
    Philippians 1:6 I am confident God will complete the good work He started in me.


    I am significant . . .
    Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship.
    Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence.
    Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

     
    Doubt Diet Tip: When you’re tempted to use the measuring stick of comparison—be sure to measure UP by focusing upward on Christ, remembering who you are in HIM! “The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior (and beliefs) will begin to reflect your true identity!” *
    © 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.
    *Victory Over the Darkness, Dr. Neil T. Anderson (Ventura, CA: Regal Books, 1990), 48.
     
     
     
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    Have you signed up for our HUGE giveaway Celebration?
    Click here for details, and how to enter.

10 Giveaways!! 2 Per Day Until the Contest Ends.

We are giving away 4 copies of Renee’s book, “A Confident Heart,” $50 Southwest Airlines Gift Card, $25 Kroger Gift Card, and a $20 Target eGift Card.
Plus 4 pks of Coupon Holders (10 per pk)for your Binder. 
 
 

       
     
       

     

Doubt Diet Day 5: But I don’t have anything special to offer.

If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read (its free HERE) as I won’t copy each day’s entire devotion. We’ll go through the devotion each day together, sharing scripture, encouragement, doubts, fears, and insecurities that have taken up residence in our hearts. If this is your first time joining us, I want you to know I do not have it all together and I have faced doubts and insecurities my entire life. We are in this together it’s a “sharing” thing.

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Day 5: But I Don’t Have Anything Special to Offer
Taken in part from Chapter 8
Food for thought: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Ps. 139:13 NIV)  

If we were all sitting in a group together and were asked to answer the following questions, what would your “soul” reaction be.

  • What do you love to do?
  • If finances were unlimited and failure impossible, what would your dream be?

Did anyone feel a little panicky inside?  Would you want to hear how others answered first?  In the introduction to today’s devotion Renee described a time when she found herself in a similar situation being asked those questions. 

She said one friend wanted to be the first female President while another wanted to be in a Christian Rock Band.  It was funny when she said she listened as her friends around her described their dreams so she could get some ideas.  I love the fact that Renee is real – I bet some of us would have done the same thing.  

She didn’t have an answer to those questions, instead it mattered more what others wanted or needed her to be.  Can  you relate?  God didn’t create us for the purpose of making others happy.  Instead, he has a plan and a specific purpose for each of us. 

So, here goes I’d like to introduce you to the real me.  I used to be very hard on myself and feel that my personality was “wrong” because I wasn’t like other people.  Now, I  just laugh at myself because there is always some kind of adventure.  I lose my keys and cell phone everyday.   I don’t like details, spreadsheets, numbers, strict rules or a black and white answer.  I prefer not to rent movies or check out books from the library because chances are they will end up lost or returned late.  I have a hard time paying attention, especially with long detailed stories.  My mind is always spinning, 

At the same time I don’t get bogged down with details.  It takes a lot to make me mad.  I’m very passionate about what I believe in.  I love making other people laugh, it makes me smile all the way down to my toes.  Giving is a part of who I am.  I makes me giddy thinking about  who I can give to, what they need, how it can be an anonymous surprise.

I used to feel so bad about myself and couldn’t understand why I lose everything.  my mom always made it sound so simple.  “If you put things where they belong you’ll never lose them.”  You think I haven’t tried that?  The problem is that in my mind nothing has to “belong” to a certain place.  

What about you, have you been hard on yourself.  Turn it around - God wants to use it for his kingdom.  Don’t get me wrong, God is still working on me in this area.  I still have more insecurities than I can count.  I have however, accepted me for me. 

Okay, so I’ve spilled my guts.  What about you, what makes you – you.  Think about something that you’ve beat yourself up about – turn it around.  It was important enough to God to include that “ingredient.”  I think about baking a cake.  Does flour taste good by itself?  Not so much.  Chocolate Cake – now that’s another story.  Love it.  When I look at Chocolate Cake, I don’t think about the disgusting flour, I think about how wonderful it tastes once all the ingredients are combined. 

Next time Satan wants to whisper doubt in your ear remind him – you are chocolate cake.  I know that sounds silly but sometimes it takes that silly kind of thinking to get rid of our toxic thoughts.

Copied below is an excerpt from the 7-Day Doubt Diet.  Renee’ s Message.
 

The truth is: you and I were not designed to be whom others expect us to be, or even want us to be. We were created to become all that God planned for us to be. 

Let’s take the challenge and go hang out with ourselves for a while.  Below I have copied questions Renee challenges us to consider.

  • What do you love to do?
  • If finances were unlimited and failure was impossible, what would be your dream?
  • How well do you know the real you?    
  • Have you ever taken time to think about what you like to do?
  • What personality traits, abilities, or experiences do you have?
  • What would make your heart come alive if you had the confidence and resources to do it? 
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    Doubt Diet Tip:

    We all have a natural body shape. I’m shaped like a pear; always have been, always will be. Most of my life I didn’t like it. But this is the body God gave me and I’ve learned to work with it. In the same way God gives us a natural body shape physically, He also gives us a natural “body shape” spiritually, to equip us for His purpose in the body of Christ. Ask God to help you discover and love the “shape” He gave you! 

    

    Have you entered to win these giveaways? 
    There are lots of chances to enter, details are here

    Hint:  You can get one entry for commenting on this post. 

     

    The 7day Doubt Diet – A Day to Catch Up! Giveaways! Updated!

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    Some of you have communicated that you had gotten behind over the weekend and needed to get caught up.  So today, we are not going to post a new devotion.  If you haven’t signed up for your free copy of the 7-day Doubt Diet click here.
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    Listed Below are the Links to Each Day’s Devotion:

     Giveaways!  A New Giveaway Added Every Day!  We are giving away 4 copies of Renee’s book, “A Confident Heart,” $50 Southwest Airlines Gift Card, $25 Kroger Gift Card, and a $20 Target Gift Card.  Plus we’ve added 4 packs of coupon holders (10 per pack).

    How to Enter:
    •  Leave a comment – What’s the first doubt or insecurity that pops into your mind.below
    • Join T2$ and a A Confident Heart on fb (Earn an entry for each) .
    • Follow T2$ on Twitter .
    • Follow Renee Swope on Twitter

    How to Enter:

    • Post the following on your fb wall: http://tinyurl.com/3ue2dgt
    • Tweet the following – #giveaways on @time2save A Confident Heart by @reneeswope or a #giftcard @target, @southwestairlines, @Kroger. http://tinyurl.com/3ue2dgt
    • Leave a comment on any of the devotions in the series click here
    Reminder: We don’t want to miss any of your entries, please leave a comment for each.
    The giveaway is open until Sunday, September 18th at 11:59 PST to US residents only. Winners will be notified by email. After 48hours if there is no response a new winner will be chosen.

    The 7-Day Doubt Diet Day 4: Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder

    If you haven’t signed up, don’t put it off – YOU are worth it. You’ll need your own copy to read  (its free HERE) as I won’t copy each day’s entire devotion. We’ll go through the devotion each day together, sharing scripture, encouragement, doubts, fears, and insecurities that have taken up residence in our hearts. If this is your first time joining us, I want you to know I do not have it all together and I have faced doubts and insecurities my entire life.  We are in this together  it’s a “sharing” thing.

     Day 4: Sometimes Worry Makes Me Wonder
    Taken in part from Chapter 9 of A Confident Heart
    Food for thought: She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40 NIV)

    I don’t know about you but I always have plenty of things to worry about.  Like Renee mentions in today’s devotion when I get worryed and overwhelmed I feel like God is not listening.  The past 4 years I have struggled a lot – wondering if God heard my prayers.  At times, I questioned his love for me and I felt like I couldn’t trust Him.  I worried, I wondered, and for a season I got mad at God. I’ve included a part of my story below as a testimony of Gods faithfulness.

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    In January 2007 my 3 year old daughter was diagnosed with type I diabetes.  Morgan was barely 3 and Caleb was only 5 months old.  This brought on a new level of worry.  For example, Morgan’s blood sugar, checking her blood, counting the carbs in her food properly, shots and so much more.  We we afraid for Caleb, so we’d check his blood sugar periodically.

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    A couple of months later in April my daddy was diagnosed with Brain Cancer.  A very aggressive cancer that grows like an octopus into your brain.  No cure, terminal, the only hope of extending his life would have been surgery.  Daddy’s tumor was inoperable.  He was given less than 2 months, God gave us 10 months.

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    We also had 3 houses during this time.  One that we lived in and two spec houses that sat for 2 years before they sold.  For two years we had 3 mortgages.

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    My daddy passed away in February.  Then, the day after his funeral my husband lost his job.   The company he worked for had a merger and shut down his entire division.

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    At this point, I really questioned God.  The day after my dad’s funeral Gary loses his job, and we have 3 houses?  I didn’t feel like God was listening.  In fact, I felt like he had turned his back on me for a time.  I didn’t understand why he had allowed so much?

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    It didn’t happen overnight but slowly God has put me back together.  It’s been a process that I have had to walk through.  I had to completley surrender every part of my life to Him.  Had I not, I shudder to think where my wondering may have lead me.  I don’t know where I heard this, but it’s stuck with me.  When I feel overwhelmed about the future, it’s because God hasn’t given me the grace to face that day yet.  I look back at what God has brought me through and I know he carried me.  God gives us the measure of grace when we need it, but not a moment too soon.

    On Day 4, Renee shares a season in her life that left her feeling overwhelmed, fearful, out of fuel, full of worry, and doubt that God even cared.   She said she secretly felt that if she stopped worrying about everybody and everything God would too.  She was over-committed and had become weary serving God instead of seeking God.  Then one day as she was reading about Martha and Mary in her bible from the book of Luke she realized that Martha had become weary in all of her worrying and began to doubt that God cared for her.

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    A message from Renee
    Excerpt The 7-day Doubt Diet Day 4:  Sometimes Worry makes you Wonder

    Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6–7 NLT)
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    First Peter 5:7 tells us: “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you” (NLT).

    When life weighs us down this week, let’s commit to:

    1. Stop worrying—Press the pause button on our consuming concerns.
    2. Start praying—Talk to God about all we’re doing and ask Him if there’s anything we need to cut back so we have time to seek Him as much as we serve Him and others.
    3. Keep thanking God—Thank God for what He’s done in the past and will do in the future. This helps us remember how good He is at being God.

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    Doubt Diet Tip: Lose the weight of worry by “giving all your worries and cares to the Lord because He cares for you!” Write your concerns on an index card and give them to Jesus. I have a tabletop cross by my bedside where I lay my “concerns card.” Maybe you could get one too. Then, when you start worrying, go back and write your worries on your card, and commit once again to cast your cares upon the Lord.

    Download More Peace-Giving Promises
    The 7-day Doubt Diet is a free devotional Companion to A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.

    © 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.

    It’s been 10 years since 9/11: We will Never Forget.

     

     

    Most of us probably remember exactly where we were when we found out about the tradegies of 9/11.  We want to thank God that our country is free, and to pray for those who experienced so much loss that day.  May be never forget.

    

     

    The Eleventh Of September

    We mourn their loss this day this year
    Those now with God, no danger near

    So many loved ones left do stand
    Comforting loss throughout our land

    My heart goes out to those who do
    No one can fathom what they view

    I firmly pray for peace of mind
    Dear God please help each one to find 

    And to our soldiers now at war
    God guide above, at sea, on shore

    They are the best, I have no doubt
    Our country’s pride, complete, devout

    The finest force you’ll ever see
    All freedom grown through liberty 

    One final thought comes clear to me
    For what must live in infamy

    Absolutely – We’ll Remember
    The Eleventh – Of September

    ©2002 Roger J. Robicheau
    “It (The Eleventh of September) was read before the United States Senate by Senator John Kerry on September 4, 2002, and is now a permanent part of our country’s history.  Officially it was Congressional Record Article 27 of 53, page S8196.”  The Poetic Plumber

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    On Monday We E-mailed Jokes
    Author Unknown

    On Monday we emailed jokes.
    On Tuesday we did not.

    On Monday we thought that we were secure.
    On Tuesday we learned better.

    On Monday we were talking about heroes as being athletes.
    On Tuesday we relearned who our heroes are.

    On Monday we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived.
    On Tuesday we gave money away to people we had never met.

    On Monday there were people fighting against praying in schools.
    On Tuesday you would have been hard pressed to find a school where someone was not praying.

    On Monday people argued with their kids about picking up their room.
    On Tuesday the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids.

    On Monday people were upset that they had to wait 6 minutes in a fast food drive through line.
    On Tuesday people didn’t care about waiting up to 6 hours to give blood for the dying.

    On Monday we waved our flags signifying our cultural diversity.
    On Tuesday we waved only the American flag.

    On Monday there were people trying to separate each other by race, sex, color and creed.
    On Tuesday they were all holding hands.

    On Monday we were men or women, black or white, old or young, rich or poor, gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian.
    On Tuesday we were Americans.

    On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses.
    On Tuesday grief stricken they sang ‘God Bless America’.

    On Monday the President was going to Florida to read to children.
    On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children.On Monday we had families.
    On Tuesday we had orphans.

    On Monday people went to work as usual,
    On Tuesday they died.

    On Monday people were fighting the 10 commandments on government property.
    On Tuesday the same people all said ‘God help us all’ while thinking ‘Thou shall not kill’. 

    It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place things into perspective, but it has. The lessons learned that week, the things we have taken for granted, the things that have been forgotten or overlooked, hopefully will never be forgotten again.  Author Unknown

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