Breaking the Myth: Christians Have Easy Lives

HAPPY NEW YEAR
WHAT?!?!?!?

So, as a Christian, I feel like we just assume that we will become rich and God will bless us with a bigger house and better cars and no more stress. OF COURSE HE PROMISES THAT!! No. Sorry.

God doesn’t promise an easy life, He doesn’t promise that we won’t have trials and tribulations.

He promises that He will NEVER leave us and that we are SAVED! Oh, praise HIS NAME! 

A reoccurring theme for me, so far in 2016, is trust. TRUST!

Here are some verses that prove that no, we don’t have an easy life, but God gives us HOPE that everything is working for His purpose. (Which if things had gone the way I wanted them to go, I’d be living a totally horrible, and different life.)  Thank God, that He worked even when I didn’t want Him to. Even when it hurt, even when my life sucked, even when whatever, HE WAS WORKING. WOO!

Anyways, I’m supposed to be using scripture evidence on this, right?

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” John 16:33

This is Jesus talking, so you better pay attention. He’s talking to the disciples about how he’s about to die, but don’t worry, he comes back. (I hope I didn’t spoil anything for you.)

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7

God cares about how we handle bad news, hard situations, and rough patches. People watch how we handle trials, are we handling them with grace and trust in God? Do we show that…

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Guys, trust, be calm, cool down! ‘All things God works for the good of those who love him’, if you’re reading this, you probably came from one of the tags on here… which means you love GOD! WHICH MEANS all things are working for YOUR good! OMG listen to this song.

I sing this in my head all the time. It’s so catchy and it’s TRUE! Romans 8:28 my friends, hold it near and dear.

A song on trust that’s stuck in my head, too.

William, my husband, calls her the Christian Adelle. LOL

Let me hear your thoughts! Do you have more verses or songs you hold on to?

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Words: Our Greatest Weapon

Valentine's Day!“Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Remember that? What a load of crap. Has anyone ever labeled you and it stuck? I remember in high school someone told me and the guy I was dating that we looked like the number 10 together. (Like he was tall and skinny like the number 1 and I was shaped like the number 0…) That messed me up. I mean that was several, SEVERAL years ago, and I’m happy and over it, but it took a while. Anyways! As Christians, we need to make sure we are not hurting others by using our most powerful weapon…

WORDS!

“…how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Mathew 12:34

Here the bible is telling us that what we allow to come out of our mouths, is what is in our heart.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m the worst when it comes to “guarding my lips” (Proverbs 13:3), when I hear some juicy juicy gossip. But is that right? Should I enjoy hearing  possible lies? Should I enjoy putting others down? What does this say about me?

“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This sounds an awful lot like Psalm 39:1

“I said, ‘I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.'” Psalm 39:1

WHOA! I don’t gossip, complain, cuss or speak negatively, unless someone else has started it. So, God is telling me that I need to watch it. I need to put a muzzle (not literately) over my mouth when I’m around those people. But what do you do? You can’t just stand there and say nothing, can you? This is what I’m having trouble with, if you have ideas please post how you handle these situations.

Haha, as I type this I find the verse…

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:6

Holy guacamole!!!! So, if I walk like Jesus then I can handle those people? I’ll just know what to say, without sounding like I’m condemning them for speaking like that? Man, walking like Christ is hard.

Thoughts? Let me hear them.

Turning an OLD frame into cute!

When you inherit old frames, but don’t feel right throwing them out. Pay homage, by making them modern and cute! Something you’ll actually use!

I know MeeMaw would want me to use it rather than lose it!

Turning a frame older than me into a cute chalk board!

1. Grab your favorite color spray paint! (I used matte) And grab some chalk board paint. Or make your own by looking here.

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2. Take apart that frame and glass.

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Obviously, this isn’t the same frame, but this one’s the next adventure.

3. Spray paint that frame! (Not the glass part)

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4. While the frame is drying, paint the glass part with chalk board paint. I had to paint it with 2 or 3 coats.IMG_0135

5. When it’s dry put it back together.MEXICO6. Hang in your kitchen for a cute menu board! Or in a bedroom for kids to play with! Or in a classroom, wherever!

Worrying is a Sin?!?!

Holidays!

This is the hardest fact for a lot of us to swallow, but it’s true. Anxiety, Stress, Worrying, Nervousness, etc, it’s all sin! Several verses from the Bible (3 with Jesus actually talking) discuss this and why it’s not good for us.

I used to suffer from SERIOUS anxiety, and I was even prescribed an anti-depressant to help with my anxiousness. I couldn’t take it. I knew there had to be another way to deal with my anxiety.

So, I started running and relying on God. (Say whaaaat?) Running helped me get restful sleep and get some energy out, and God… well He revealed a lot of Bible verses to me that showed me how to cope.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Matthew 6:25

This is Jesus speaking! He’s basically saying, “Guys, come on. Don’t worry about your clothes or what’s for dinner. Life is worth more!” He goes on to say that flowers don’t worry about what to wear, and none of us can compare to their beauty!

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ” Matthew 6:31-33

This is Jesus, again! So twice now he’s said Do NOT worry! Here he’s saying, God knows what you need, and he’s taking care of you.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

Again, Jesus tells us to STOP worrying! Each day has trouble and God is leading us through, so there’s no need to worry.

When we worry, we aren’t trusting God’s plan for us. We tell Him that we don’t think His Will is enough.

Don’t let the pigeon do an Author Study!

I just recently did a Mo Willems Author Study at one of my schools. It went great! Who doesn’t love Mo Willems??

For this the teachers read the book and then had students fill out this worksheet. You can find it here, and her blog is awesome and full of great resources.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ddmgg9rz81z3a96/mo%20willems%20freebie.pdf?dl=0

For the Pigeon needs a bath I utilized TGIF’s blog and TPT store. You can view her stuff here and here.

 

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For Leonardo the Terrible Monster, I couldn’t find anything that I thought was challenging enough. So I had the kids fill out this worksheet. Then we got to create our own monster and did a double bubble comparing the two monsters.

We did a ton more, but I can’t post everythinggggggg. Let me know what Author Studies you’ve done!

TO SEE ALL OF MO WILLEM’S BOOKS, VISIT HIS AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE.

 

Saving and Shopping

Holidays!

Grocery shopping is the WORST, there’s too many old people (my sister in law always says that), but you can turn it into a game by seeing how much you can save!

MAKE A LIST!

Making a shopping list helps you narrow down what you need, so you can avoid what you don’t!

Look over that list with apps!

Look at your list then browse theses apps to see what rebates your groceries can get you! I use Ibotta, Shopkick, Receipt Hog, and Checkout 51. All of these are great and reliable! I also use the Tom Thumb app for personalized coupons based on what I’m spending (Just for u section) and Target’s cartwheel app!

 

Be Flexible!

Sometimes the store brands are JUST AS GOOD. Seriously, if you’re looking at cereal for your kids, store brands are cheaper and they’ll never know!

Clearance!

If you’re a gluten-free nut like me, then you need to look at the clearance. Gluten free stuff goes on sale all the time, because its rarely bought! I get pasta on clearance all the time! Also, look at the ground meat and hotdogs for the clearance, yeah the expiration date is close, but you can always freeze them. Or serve them that night! YUM!

 

If you have more tips to share, please let me know so I can save, too!

Teachers; what are they good for?

TEACHERS;

Teachers (in my opinion) are the most important part of anyone’s life. Think back to your days as a student.

You probably only remember 2 teachers.One that you completely adored and he/she is a fond, fond memory. The other, was the worst person on the planet. He/she lived to make your life horrid.

The influence teachers have on a child is amazing. I hold teachers to the highest standard. If you think about it logistically, teachers spend more time with their students, than the student’s PARENTS! Whoa, that means that during the younger ages, teachers have a greater influence on students, than their own parents. If a teacher ever called you something outside your name, that probably stuck with you. If a teacher made you feel inadequate, that probably stuck with you.

Teachers need to chose their words wisely, we need to remember that these could be our kids. How would we want someone to treat our children?

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Whether or not we see it, kids look up to us. They see how we hold ourselves, how we talk to each other, or about each other, and they model it after us. The greatest thing we can teach children is that they are an upstanding citizen of the community.

WHAT?!?!?!

I mean is that:

  1. They have a voice, that should be heard.
  2. Their peers have voices that deserve equal respect.
  3. They are a small part of something larger.
  4. They are important and that they hold themselves that way.

 

Be careful what you say and HOW you say it, because little ears are always near.

Fasting?!?!? UGHHHHHH!

2So, I’ll be the first one to admit that I HATE being told what to do. And maybe that’s why I feel that fasting is so important.

First of all let me say that fasting is WAY more than not eating food. There are a billion ways to fast. Truly what fasting means (in my opinion) is giving up something that is all consuming so that you can focus and rely on God.

Isaiah 58:6 says, “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” So, Isaiah is saying that fasting is taking away anything that oppresses you?

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I just started an adventure; fasting from my words… SAY WHAAAT?

Yeah I’m serious. How often have I said something judgmental, mean, complain-y, sarcastic, or just negative? The answer, is far too often. Our words are sooooo powerful. The bible says “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 Psalms and Proverbs is all about wisdom and “putting a muzzle over my mouth” when you are in situations where there is gossip, sarcasm, or mean words.

I work in schools and I see that gossip is more prevalent there than any other job I’ve had. To me, that is so sad! Teachers and leaders in a school are the most important people in some students lives. (Next blog will be a rant about the importance of teachers!)

I know I sound kind of crazy, but think about it. Our words have power. If you don’t believe me, then try it for yourself. Every morning for two weeks say, “Wow, I look beautiful” before you leave for work. Tell me you don’t feel better about yourself after.

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I’m currently reading Change Your Words, Change Your Life. A 7 day devotional by Tim Cameron. It’s on the Bible App. If you don’t have the Bible App, get it! It’s awesome! I mean, let’s be honest, the Bible can be tough to read and boring. BUT, the plans and devotionals that they have are easy to read, engaging and easy to apply to your life.

Creating a Library for Practically Nuffin’

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One of the most exciting things for me (because I’m a huge book nerd) was creating a differentiated library system in my class that kids could use! This could also be used at home with your own kids, with modifications. By now you should know how stingy I am, so don’t expect to spend a lot with these helpful tips.

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1. ASK ASK ASK!

Before spending a CENT on books (that honestly are going to get torn up in a year by natural usage) ask people! Post on your facebook, twitter, nextdoor, etc, that you’re a teacher and need books. People feel sorry for teachers, they’ll give you everything they have if they could. Or if you’re a parent, just say I’m in need of children’s books. When I was a first year teacher I posted that EVERYWHERE and I got at least 30 FREE books just from that.

Another group to listen to is retiring teachers, when teachers leave they don’t want to keep anything! Ask retiring teachers, teachers who are becoming principals or counselors what they are doing with their books or collections. Chances are they didn’t even think about it and will give those books away! I got a bunch of hand-me downs this way.

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2. Half Priced Books Warehouse

Look in your area for the nearest Half Priced Books Warehouse. On Saturday’s they will open their warehouse (as the rooster crows) and give you two boxes that you can fill with all the books your heart desires! I got like 200 books from this! The boxes are BIG. THESE ARE TOTALLY FREE! Now make sure to monitor what you get… I once got a book with naked pictures in it. Phew, good thing I checked!

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3. Your school’s Librarian

As I’m working on my internship to becoming a Librarian I see how important this person is! Like seriously they have to know EVERYTHING and be nice all at the same time, it’s exhausting. So, one thing to know is that the library is constantly updating and getting new books or content or getting rid of “ugly” books. Talking to your Librarian to see if they are deleting or getting rid of any books is a great way to start. They might not be the prettiest things, but that means that kids love them and have checked them out!

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4. Library Summer Sales

Public libraries have to do the same thing, update their content, filter the old books or ugly books, etc. When they do this, the “friends of the library” or whatever group organizes this will sell the books they are getting rid of to try to make more money for library activities. The books are so cheap, like 50 cents, or 25 cents cheap! I even bought some books just for me to read.

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5. Half Price Books

Half Price Books gives 10% off for teachers (if you show your badge), I would go into the clearance children’s book section and find all the 50 cent books! I would get a bunch of those that’s books for only 45 cents a piece! GENIUS.

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6. Thrift Stores, Goodwill, DAV, Salvation Army ETC

I found a ton of leveled readers at a thrift store once, I have no clue why they were there. (Must have been an out of print collection) The whole collection, about 80 small books which is 20 different levels, was only $2. YUP only $2!

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7. Scholastic Reading Club

These are those little magazine like things we got when we were little. With the books all over it and you would circle the ones you wanted? Yeah those still exist and it’s awesome for teachers! They will have sales where the books are like $1 a piece or a set of books for $30, but you get like 40 books or something. Also, when your students order, your classroom gets points that you can use on MORE books for your library!

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8. Online Resources

If you don’t have a ton of books, but still want your kiddos reading, there are a ton of websites that have free ebooks!
We Give Books (you have to have a log in, but it’s totally free)
Storyline Online (which are videos of famous actors reading to your child)
Project Gutenburg (which downloads free books to your computer)
International Children’s Library (free fun books)

And way more, there’s also a ton of apps available!
Apple’s iBook has a bunch of free books loaded.
HMH houghton mifflin has all their leveled readers on an app.
Starfall, duh!

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9. How to make it a Differentiation

If you’re looking for books for you home, look away! I used old shoe boxes (which I covered in cute paper of course) and put a number on each box. 1 was for my lowest group (non readers- DRA2/3) and it went all the way to 8 (DRA 28+). Each group was differentiated by DRA level (Fountas and Pinnell can be done as well). I found the levels by using a few leveling apps, Scholastic has a very good one. I told each reading group what their number was and that they could only get their book from that number. I coordinated the numbers with colors and put the corresponding sticker color on the book. It was so easy for organizing and it looks great on observations. 😉

There are WAY more opportunities and humble yourself, set aside your pride and talk to your fellow coworkers, friends, etc. Make sure you are open to help and receptive!

 

 

*All pictures found on flickr.com labeled for reuse.

Beautiful Wedding, Happy Wallet

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Yup. That’s us.

William and I eloped in Colorado, because when you’re young, in love, and broke (and paying for it yourself) that’s what you do! However, we came back and did a reception/HUGE party to celebrate (and still get presents) with our family and friends.

Here’s how we did a huge beautiful reception, without breaking the bank!

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Yup. That was our invitation.

1.Buy your invitations from Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc.

I bought my invitations on CLEARANCE right when we got engaged. You can buy pre-made invitations and print them yourself! This was so easy and so cheap! I paid less than $0.50 an invitation. They have all kinds of beautiful styles and easy instructions and software that formats the paper in Microsoft Word. They even came with the reply cards to print AND a ribbon to wrap everything up. So easy. So cheap.

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2. Research research research!!

I googled “cheap wedding venues in my area” and found a bunch! Now some weren’t so cute, but that’s okay! I visited a few and found one that was gorgeous. I could not find a “packaged” place (what I mean by this is that the venue includes catering and photography) that I thought was worth the money. I researched more and found that I could piece my own reception together and save money. Packaged places offer a lot of great things, but if you dig deeper, you can usually find better prices and it makes you feel more invested because YOU created it and were a part of every detail. Also, I found that hotels are usually MORE expensive than a venue or historical site.

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3. Don’t tell venues/caterers/ANYONE it’s a wedding

At first, I called a historical site (which are city owned and have the best prices) and told them it was for a wedding reception. WHOA! That price was kind of out of our range. So then I called BACK and told them I was curious how much their pricing would be for a party. (just a regular old party 😉) HOLY GUACAMOLE, the price was about 3 times as less. I did the same thing with our caterer, it was half the price. Yeah, they’ll see you in a white dress when they get there, but by then it’s too late! 🙂

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4. Buy your dress in “off season”

I went to David’s Bridal and tried on all the dresses and found one I really liked! I went online and waited. When the season changed that dress went on super clearance, we’re talking 75% off! I already knew what size I was because I had tried it on, I googled a promo code for David’s Bridal and found one, so I got it even CHEAPER! If you’re having a Summer wedding, find your dress in Winter. Also, online is usually way cheaper than in the stores, I don’t know why.

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5. Oriental Trading

WOWZA! My cups, napkins, cake plates, forks, serving knife, party favors, etc, came from Oriental Trading. I saved so much money by buying in bulk. (We had a lot left over, but we just used the left overs at our house!) Our party favors were sunglasses with our initials and the date, and a colored pencil. The gift is something everyone can use AND it was only $1 a person. I found deals on Oriental Trading’s clearance section because it was “off season”. We had a candy bar, where people could make a bag of candy as a favor and we did it under $20, by using jars we already had and buying candy on Oriental Trading. Now understand that our house was very full the month before the reception.

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This was not my centerpiece, just a cute mason jar!

6. Don’t underestimate a mason jar

Seriously, the best way to save money is by making your decorations yourself. I found on Pinterest a way to make your bouquet out of paper to look like flowers. Not only is that awesome, (because I used music staff paper) but it keeps forever! I will always keep my bouquet. Our centerpieces were mason jars I spray painted with frosting spray paint and put tea lights in. SO EASY, but it was gorgeous. If you dedicate a weekend with your bridesmaids to DIY, it’ll get done fast! Don’t completely disregard DIYing because it’s overwhelming, that’s why you have friends to help!

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These are our cakes that were FREE!

7. Chances are you know someone

When we got engaged both our families couldn’t stop telling people about it, but I’m glad we did. We started getting messages and responses about “Oh, my best friend is a photographer and she’ll help you guys out!” Or “I’m going to make your cake as my present.” Yeah, this happened guys. And way more connections came through, we went to a venue that was BYOB (because buying your own alcohol is way cheaper than getting a company to serve AND buy) and someone my mom used to work with was a police officer and offered to be the policeman on duty, which if you have alcohol you have to have, for free! Also, when having alcohol on premises someone with a TABC, in Texas, has to be serving the alcohol, well lucky for us one of our friends was a bartender and said he’d do it.. FOR FREE! Our DJ was a guy I went to high school with and he was just trying out his dj-ing skills and said he would do it super cheap for the practice! Guys I’m telling you, get your feelers out and people will come! It’s also way cooler when it’s your friends because it feels like everyone really got to be a part of your day. Everything was perfect!

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8. Buy your tablecloths, chair covers, etc.

I was looking to rent my tablecloths and chair covers, but what I found was that it’s the same price to rent as it is to buy. I figured, someone else has probably noticed this, so I went to craigslist and ebay. I bought my white tablecloths, chair covers, and blue ribbons for the chairs on craigslist for RIDICULOUSLY cheap! Then after, I sold them to someone else!! This is a beautiful chain reaction.

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Yup that’s us throwing my bouquet.

9. Not for saving money

But something I wished someone told me when we had our reception was, it’s all about you two. I kept forgetting it was about William and I, because I was overwhelemd with the little stuff. Take a breath, let others help, and remember it’s y’alls day.Everyone is going to have a good time, because they love you. No one cares that much about napkins. I promise.

 

*All photos (that were not mine) found through google or flickr, all labeled for reuse.