We’ve Moved!

After much thought, we’ve decided to move our blog to…

www.wholesomewomanhood.com. :-)

We’ll keep this blog up for a couple of days to give you a chance to subscribe to our new blog. Hope to see you there!!

Melinda and Carrie

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Living in the Moment

“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1

Choosing to live fully in the moment…choosing to always be fully there throughout the day…choosing to practically show my children that they are important requires conscious little daily decisions. It’s choosing to not put off a game of catch until tomorrow. It’s choosing to use a fun little game as a lesson in diligence. It is choosing to put the to-do list aside to sit down and read a book to my boys.

Learning to enjoy all of the little blessings and opportunities throughout a day requires a purposeful decision to slow down, to be observant and to be willing to set aside the plans I had made to invest in the lives that God has put in my life. While it’s easy to say that people are more important than plans, it is equally easy to fall into the trap of showing by our actions that a to-do list and keeping the house clean is more important than anything else that comes up.

And so today I want to look for the little blessings God has given me. I want to enjoy today to the fullest, because I don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

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The Money Saving Mom’s Budget

I first got to know Crystal Paine before she was married. She was the moderator of a message board for christian young ladies. It was because of that message board where the girls discussed many different facets of biblical womanhood that I began to make my faith my own. It was no longer “I believe this because this is what my parents taught me.” I knew what I believed, why, and the Scripture it was based on.

When Crystal was married, I was excited for her. I missed her active presence in the online world as she stepped down from being a moderator. But I enjoyed her blog posts about her daily life as a newlywed. I enjoyed once again sitting under her teaching as she learned what it meant to be a godly wife.

When she started her new blog (Money Saving Mom), I was excited. Once Tim and I were married, her blog was what inspired me to learn how to be frugal and spend our money wisely. I’ve learned so much from Crystal over the years and I continue to be encouraged as I read her blog.

I was excited when I saw that Crystal was writing a book. I jumped at the opportunity to review it and was (once again!) inspired by Crystal and her wisdom.

Every chapter is filled with practical information and tips on how to implement the steps she outlines in a way that isn’t overwhelming. The book begins with helping you to figure out what financial success means to you and continues with helping you to come up with goals that are realistic and reachable.

The thing I loved the most about this book are the down to earth practical tips in the later chapters…from her personal testimony on how they survived and thrived during very tight financial times, to testimonies from the readers of Money Saving Mom, to recommendations of websites and blogs that help encourage a frugal lifestyle, to tips on how to save money on food and clothing. Crystal’s book begins with help on how to formulate a financial plan and then ends with tons of ideas on how to save and make money to help you achieve your financial goals.

After reading this book, I find myself realizing that little purchases do add up to a lot of money. I’m reinspired to use things for as long as possible and to make good use of the leftovers instead of letting them grow mold in my refrigerator. :-) Each of the little steps I take moves us one tiny step closer to reaching the financial goals we have for our family.

I highly recommend The Money Saving Mom’s Budget.

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Book on Relationships

Someone recently asked me if I had any books to recommend on the topic of relationships. One book comes to mind: I, Isaac, Take Thee Rebekah by Ravi Zacharias.

This is one of the best book I have read about what love and commitment is really about in a relationship. I would highly recommend this book to everyone.

I read this book last December before I even met Jason. I decided I wanted to make sure I had a biblical view of marriage, so I determined to read some good books on marriage in 2011. I was so excited about reading this book though that I began it a month early.

It is an excellent book . . . I cannot recommend it highly enough.

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Marriage Advice for Newlyweds

Since both my sisters were married in the past two months, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it “used to be like”. You know…after the honeymoon before the babies arrived. :-) As I watched my sisters prepare for a life with the man of their dreams these thoughts came to mind. Marriage advice to my sisters, Melinda and Bonnie, as they embark on a new journey in their lives.

1. Cherish the time you have just the two of you. Assuming that God will one day bless you with children, take advantage of this time to build a strong foundation for your marriage so that you will get through the long days (and years!) of parenting newborns, toddlers and little children.

2. Use your free time to learn as many new skills as possible. This will probably be when you will have the most free time in your marriage. So what can you learn that will make you a better wife, homemaker and, if God so chooses, mother? Learn what you can now, because once the children start coming along it’s hard to find any amount of uninterrupted time. :-)

3. Plan to make fun memories with your husband. Typically newlyweds don’t have a lot of money. Don’t let that stop you from planning new experiences and fun times together! It can be as simple as games after dinner, long conversations late at night, or cuddling and watching a movie together. Get in the habit of making a date night (whether at home or on the town) a priority. As life gets busier, you’ll have fun memories to look back on and a habit that will, hopefully, stay a part of your married life.

4. Use any disagreements as a catalyst to learn more about each other. What makes your husband tick? What makes him feel honored and respected even in the midst of a disagreement? As the responsibilities you face grow over the years and stressful situations accost your marriage, you will be able to draw on these valuable skills to weather the problem.

5. Don’t let your mind wander to the “what ifs”.  Focus on the present. By choosing to marry your husband, you probably gave up some dreams you once had. Perhaps one day God will open the doors to pursue them. Right now focus on the life God has given you. Be open to new dreams and pour your energy into the family God has given you.

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Golden Ball of Time

I remember hearing a story about a boy who received a golden ball of time. Whenever he was impatient with something, he could pull the string attached to the ball, and the ball would accelerate time so the boy would not have to experience what he did not wish to. It seemed like a good plan, but his life then spend by and before he knew it, he was old, life was over, and he wasn’t sure where it had gone to.

There have been times where I have wished for such a golden ball. There was the time when I was single. I wished I could pull a string and bring a handsome, wonderful, God-honoring man into my life. Then I met Jason. Then I wanted a golden ball to move ahead to know whether Jason and I would get married. I wanted to skip the weeks and months of frustration with not knowing where our relationship was going. Then we got engaged. Then I wanted the golden ball to get to marriage. Basically, no matter what is going on in my life, there is always something I would like to skip over and just to something better.

Yet, just like the little boy, if I had such a golden ball, I would use it. Then life would speed by. God didn’t give us such golden balls. He has given us the gift of time. We have experiences in life, good and bad. We are meant to live through them, savoring the moments, both the good and the bad. God gives us everything for a reason and a purpose. His plan will shine through. Embrace the journey. Don’t rush it.

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Reading Classics

I am a big advocate of reading classic literature . . . although I’m not the greatest at actually reading them myself. I have a very long list of classics that I know I ought to read, and yet I have a hard time actually convincing myself to read them. But then again, when I have taken the time to read a piece of classic literature, I am always usually pleased that I actually made the time to read the book. There have been a few pieces that are considered classics that I truly did not like. (Think for instance, A Tale of Two Citites and Huckleberry Finn.) However, most of the classics I have read have been enjoyable and worth the time it takes to read them.

This particular blog article takes the time to list ten benefits to reading classics. All of the reasons this blogger discusses are valuable. This blogger highlights the reasons why classic literature has become just that . . . classic. The classic literature has enjoyed the test of time and is (for the most part) worth reading.

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