Tuesday, August 28, 2018

19 Simple Steps To Ensure You Never Have To Pay For A Vacuum Cleaner Again

Caption SHOULD read, "Never Loses Suction...Until It Does"

1 - Have 5 dirty children (but really, any children will do)

2 - Accumulate more pets than you can count (Seriously ya'll, Josh had a dad approach him at our soccer practice the other week who said, "I see ya'll have a lot of pets at your house.  You want a couple of bunnies?")

3 - Mandate an open door policy so that you always have other people in and out (preferably ones that come with small children that can help the process)

4 - Make sure you purchase an old home with layers of filth and dust underneath your current carpeted flooring

***Steps 1-4 are only needed to ensure the overuse of your current vacuum cleaner***

NOTE - Bypass Steps 1 -4 if you are one of those rare people that actually cleans on a schedule whether your house actually needs it or not.  Personally I prefer steps 1-4, but you do you.

5 - Begin cycling through vacuum cleaners on a 6-9 month basis, no matter how hard you try to maintain them, because they CAN.NOT.KEEP.UP.WITH.THE.FILTH.

6 - Voice your frustration about how society doesn't make things the way they used to anymore (My parents got a toaster for their wedding and it lasted for DECADES ya'll! I can't even imagine!)

7 - Then mention that you are going to have to shell out a bunch of money...AGAIN... because steps 1-4 require them

8 - Surround yourself with friends in your life who can speak truth and hope in such times of need

9 - Adhere to her advice immediately by scouring Bed, Bath and Beyond coupons for the best vacuum cleaner deal you can find

10 - Purchase the beautiful machine and save the receipt and box in a safe place (because we KNOW we are going to need it in a few months)

11 - Use the vacuum cleaner as seen in previous steps

12 - Wait for the clean smell of a freshly vacuumed room to be replaced by that burned plastic/rubber smell that no candle or oil diffuser can stand against

13 - Pray that you can at LEAST get the dog hair up from the living room before your small group comes in the door

14 - Keep praying that prayer for another week or so until the vacuum cleaner begins spitting out its contents in defiance as you quietly curse at it under your breathe. (I guess I can't blame it. It has worked a long hard 4 months and 23 days *insert eye roll*)

15 - Turn your frown upside down as you walk to your shed to pull out the box and receipt.

16 - Walk into Bed, Bath and Beyond with your head held high because today is YOUR day!  It is the day you get a BRAND NEW VACUUM CLEANER FOR FREE!

17 - But don't walk out of there without your new receipt that you are going to need in another few months to repeat these steps

18 - Return home and unpackaged that brand new vacuum cleaner and realize that you probably should have returned your other one weeks ago because you really shouldn't have to empty the container 4 times with one vacuuming that was JUST completed with your other vacuum cleaner!

19 - Let your heart be happy as you make those fresh vacuum lines in your carpet once again

People, THIS is why we need each other!

NOTE - This system will work with anything you purchase from Bed, Bath and Beyond.  In fact, I texted my friend to thank her for telling me about this and she said she is just WAITING for her Vitamix to go so she can take it back and get a new one, lol. This same friend also upgrades her vacuum cleaner by paying the difference on her returned broken vacuum cleaner!  I mean, do I have brilliant friends or what?! They have a "no questions asked" return policy.  Who knew?!  Well, now YOU do.  You're welcome!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Be The Change

I have one particular child going through something right now. We have been at a stalemate for years and we are at a point where we really need to address this issue head-on...again.

Talking to them last night I tried to reassure them that I KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that some of the situation is COMPLETELY out of their control, but that I also knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there were at least SOME things that they COULD control.

This child simply hasn't put any effort into the part they could control because they can't control it ALL. We set out a game plan, knowing there is absolute grace in what is out of their control, and just doing our best to make progress in the part that IS in their control.

This takes discipline.
This takes motivation.
This takes getting over the pride that keeps us from taking ownership and seeing our own responsibility for growth, (because let's face it, as soon as we think "Whatever, I'm good with God. It's YOU that has to get it together.", you are fooling yourself into the lie that you have arrived and don't have any sin in your own heart to work out. We are ALL works in progress).
Which all takes a LOT of prayer, because it is ONLY THROUGH CHRIST that we can make the move.

I tried to explain that they would never have freedom from this particular situation unless they chose to make a move in a different direction.

We often tell our kids when they are arguing back and forth about something that nothing is going to change unless one of them takes the higher road and stops it.  Sometimes it means simply walking away (because it's hard to argue when nobody else is in the room to argue with).  Other times it's as simple as just NOT fighting back. Either way, SOMEONE is going to have to change something for it to stop.

If you are feeling stuck and not knowing how to get out of the pit, try taking a step in a different direction.
Try offering grace instead of blame.
Try softening your heart instead of building up that wall.
Try loving instead of putting down.
Try stepping in the shoes of someone else instead of always playing the victim.
Try forgiveness instead of holding on to the trophy of bitterness, anger and/or resentment.

I don't know what it needs to be for you, but just try something different.

It is uncomfortable for sure.
It absolutely seems unfair much of the time.
But isn't the grace we've been freely given just as important as the grace we are commanded to give?

I know, I know...easier said than done, but MAN is it worth it!

Today, take one step in a different direction to begin to be the change.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

15 Minutes To Progress

Have you ever had one of those days?

You know, where the to-do list keeps growing and growing with no end in sight.

It might be a list full of the more mundane things in life such as just changing over the laundry or unloading the dishwasher to keep the dishes cycle going. Or it could be bigger more time-sensitive things.

Regardless, if you are having one of those days and you can't figure out where to begin I've got a simple system that helps my brain get motivated and unstuck.

First I prioritize my list into separate sublists:

  1. Things that MUST get done today
  2. Things that need to get done but are not time sensitive
  3. Things that have been hanging over my head that I'd like to get done but are not urgent at all
I like to start with 2-3 small things that I KNOW can be accomplished relatively quickly so I can make some checks off of my list and feel like I really can get some stuff accomplished.

Set the timer for 15 minutes for each small thing you want to get done.  Most of the time it is something that gets completed way before the timer will ever go off so go ahead and see how many of those small tasks you can get done in those first 15 minutes.  It will challenge yourself to get moving.

After checking a couple small tasks off of my list  I look at my #1 list of things that MUST get done but may take a bit of heel digging and time.

Turn off all notifications on phones and computers and put aside anything else that might distract you.

Then set a timer for 15 minutes and just dive in.  You will be surprised at how quickly you can get in the zone when you get rid of all other distractions and you work as hard as you can until the timer goes off.  Most likely you will be ready to keep going once that initial 15 minutes is up.

Just getting started is the hardest part, but EVERYONE can give it just 15 minutes of undistracted focus to get going.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Micaiah Joel Turns 9

Today we celebrate the day Cai came into this world!
He was by far my easiest delivery.

He may have cried his entire first year of existence (not entirely true, but kind of, lol)
but this kid has grown into a world class comedian
making it his personal mission to make everyone around him laugh
(no matter what the cost sometimes).

He says his favorite things right now are:
soccer - he has become obsessed with this sport and learning it in detail
food - he is VERY passionate about his food
art - he is an AMAZING artist!

He is super creative and a very hard worker when he sets his mind to something.

His hair is gorgeous
and his smile is adorable.

His laugh is contagious
and his heart is sweet.

He asks a million questions and wants to know every detail
(of everyone's conversations, ha!)

Cai, it is an absolute pleasure to be your mom. You certainly keep the atmosphere full of life around here!  We continue to pray that you will be a man of Truth and I believe you are living up to your namesake and pray that you will continue to walk closely to Jesus.
Happy birthday buddy!
Love, Mom