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How I Stopped Feeling Overwhelmed by Housework

I was recently musing over the past 10 years or so, and it is amazing to me how much of it I spent completely overwhelmed by housework and all the other responsibilities in my life.

 


My journals tell the story of my overwhelm

As I looked through some of my old journals, I saw so much of this type of thing:

“I've gotten so far behind on the housework with the baby teething. I walked around in circles all day because I was so behind and it made me feel overwhelmed.”

“I get overwhelmed by housework very easily when I see how much needs to be done.”

“I feel like I'm always running in circles and not actually accomplishing anything.”


Emails from my blog readers tell the same story


Every day, I receive emails that contain some variation of what I wrote above.

Everyone is overwhelmed!

And oh, how I understand! I understand so well!

But year by year, baby step by baby step, I've learned and grown and changed.

 

I do not spend my days overwhelmed by housework anymore

Bit by bit I have made progress until I no longer feel like the word “overwhelmed” is a central figure in my life.

Yes, I have my moments. But I actually wake up excited in the mornings, and I go to bed at night feeling satisfied with my day instead of feeling like a total failure.

Don't get me wrong. I'm in no way saying I'm now superwoman. There isn't usually a massive list of accomplishments I can point to at the end of the day. Life still has a way of throwing curveballs just like it always has.

What I am saying is this – I'm at peace and no longer overwhelmed by housework all the time. (Again, not that I don't have my moments.)


So…what is different? How did I stop feeling so overwhelmed all the time?

Life's circumstances change, but God our helper is always the same

I'm not going to lie. My circumstances are easier in some ways than they have been in years past.  I have much more energy than I've had in years past. Children who are older are (somewhat) more helpful around the house.

But if you're thinking that the only way you can stop being overwhelmed is for your circumstances to change, you're going to be overwhelmed for a long time, my friend. There will always be difficult things in our lives. Instead of looking for better circumstances, look to the Lord. Without him, we can do nothing. Sometimes it takes hard things to help us remember to depend fully on Him.

Knowing my priorities means I am okay with not “getting it all done”

I've learned to how set priorities and keep my focus there. I don't get all the things done, but I am clear on what is most important, and I can go to bed satisfied with my day even when other things are left undone.

My goal setting planner enables me to set big goals and turn them into a daily, bite sized to do list. As a result, I know exactly what I need to do each day, and I also know what things won't be a big deal if I don't get to them.

I work with, and not against my personality

I've learned that trying to force myself to fit into a mold that's not my personality only makes me rebel against it and makes things worse. So instead I maximize my time in a way that works for my personality. For example, I might know that having dinner on the table promptly each evening would help with getting everyone to bed earlier, which would in turn give me an earlier morning and more time to reach my goals. However, cooking is not my favorite thing to do, which means I can tend to procrastinate. I keep a list of quick and easy meals that are still nutritious, and I make them very frequently with no guilt. Just because some moms cook a certain way, that doesn't mean I'm a bad mom if I do. I just do what works for me. Trying to force myself to make more complicated things or have a certain number of side dishes might allow me to pat myself on the back for feeding my family the “right” way, but in the long run it would contribute to feeling more overwhelmed.



There are obviously many more details that go into my journey of becoming less overwhelmed, but since I can't fit 10 years of my life into one post, I do hope these main takeaways will help you like they have helped me. 

I can't promise to help you become less overwhelmed overnight, because learning to depend on the Lord and learning how to better manage our time is a lifelong journey. We should never stop learning and growing, but I hope that this article will be an encouraging step along the way.

For more information on the goal setting planner that I use, visit this page right here. It truly makes so much of a difference in my life!

 

 

Keep reading:

 

 

 

How to Keep Your Cup Full, Even When You Don’t Have Any ‘Me Time’

With all the pouring OUT that we do, we homemakers can feel empty and burnt out pretty easily.

It's important to keep our own cup full. (Read: 13 Free Ways to Take Care of You)

And while we all can benefit from a cup of coffee drunk in silence, a few minutes of exercise, or a few hours out with a friend, there are some much more important things with which we ought to be filling our cups.

It is certainly true that you cannot pour from an empty cup. However, what is it exactly that your cup has in it?

My point here is in no way to discourage doing things that bring you joy and energize you. However, no matter your circumstances — no matter how difficult it may be for you to spend dedicated time reading a book, sleeping in, or taking a long hot shower — it is still possible to keep your cup full.

 

Consider the following:

 

1. When you live in God's presence, your cup is filled with joy.

Psalm 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

2. Your life can be full of the fruit of the spirit.

Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 

3. Your life can be filled with the fruit of righteousness.

Philippians 1:9-11 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

The fruit of righteousness is a result of knowing your identity in Christ — to cease from striving to follow the law and to rest completely in the righteousness of Christ.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

I Corinthians 1:30-31 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

You cannot produce the fruit of righteousness by your own effort. Only when you abide in the vine, Jesus Christ, can his life flow out of you. Any branch that is connected to a righteous vine will by its very nature produce righteousness.

 John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

 

4. You can be filled with the knowledge of God's will.

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Ephesians 5:15-17 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Do you know how to understand what God's will is?  By renewing your mind with the word of God.

Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

(Are life's demands so difficult that you're unable to dedicate the time you'd like to reading the word of God? Read How to Find Time For God When You Can Hardly Find Time to Breathe.)

 

5. Fill your mind with good things.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

As you go through your day, you can fill your mind with scripture on audio, you can listen to Christ-centered music, you can take time to notice the blue sky, the fluffy clouds, and the song of the birds.

No doubt as you continue searching the scripture you will think of more things with which you can fill your cup.

It certainly provides a lift to your spirit when you can take time for an activity you enjoy. But no matter how often there is opportunity for you to do that, I pray you will still keep your cup full — full of the spirit, full of the joy of the Lord, full of the fruit of righteousness.

May you keep your cup full of the love of God, and may it spill over onto every one you meet!

 

Bible Verses for a New Year

As I compiled these Bible verses for a new year, I started to see a storyline emerge. It's a storyline that reaches into the past, gives us strength for today, and a bright hope for the future.

Can you look back and see the record of God's faithfulness? He was faithful to Abraham, Moses, David, and Daniel. He has been faithful in my own life. Every morning the sun rises and every evening the sun sets because God is faithful. As we look forward to an unknown future, why should we doubt that he will continue to be faithful?

Looking to the past strengthens us and gives us confidence. Looking to the future gives us hope that one day all things will be made new. The promise of our salvation will be fulfilled completely as we leave behind this sin-cursed world.

And in light of both the past and the future, we find numerous instructions from the Bible that tell us how we ought to live in the present moment.

With the past, the present, and the future all in mind, here are some Bible verses for you to focus on as you head into a new year.

 

 


1. Trust in the unchanging faithfulness of God

Lamentations 3:22-23 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

 

2. Find your strength in the Lord

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


3. Allow the Lord to direct your steps.
 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 16:9 A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.


4. Remember that life is short and we must use each day wisely.

Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

James 4:13-14 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Ephesians 5:15-16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.


5. Spend time encouraging other believers in their Christian walk.

Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

 

6. Turn your anxieties into prayer.

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.


7. Seek the kingdom of God above all else.

Matthew 6:30-33 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.


8. Live within your identity as a new creature in Christ.

II Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Ephesians 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.


9. Preach the gospel with your words and your testimony.

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Psalm 96:1-3 O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people.

Psalm 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.

 

10. Watch for Christ's soon return

John 14:1-3 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

 

11. Be strong in the Lord and keep your spiritual armor on

Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

 

12. Look to the promise that God will one day make all things new.

Revelation 21:1-5 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

 

I'm excited to live today for God's glory because he has been faithful in the past, and he has a bright future planned for those who have placed their faith in Jesus!

 

 

 

Homemaking Update December 2020

It seems like so much of my update involves books! I promise I do more than read all day. I have made a habit of reading before I go to bed each night, and it is surprising how many books you can get through if you read a little every day.

 

 

 

I finished 5 books last month:

(Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.)

  1. I'll Pray for You: A Christian Woman's Guide to Surviving Domestic Violence by Donna Wayles

 

 

As an advocate for victims of domestic abuse, I try to keep a handle on new reading material I can recommend. This is an excellent book for both victims and for those who wish to be a help. You might be shocked at what goes on behind the closed doors of the homes of families you know. Donna's story is one example among countless that I know. Although she attended a good church, the people there just did not have enough knowledge about how to detect domestic abuse or what to do when they did become aware of it. Would you know what to do? Donna's story can help equip you to be a true friend to a Christian woman in need.  Purchase here.

 

 

2. The Naked Gospel: The Truth You May Never Hear in Church by Andrew Farley

 

This is a new author to me, but I was so very encouraged by this book! The book begins by presenting some premises that you may react strongly toward or think that you completely disagree. However, I encourage you to keep reading. This book took me a good while to read, because I did a lot of stopping to look up every scripture in its context, ponder the author's points, and jot down counter-arguments and questions. Sometimes something that seemed contrary to what I believed was simply a matter of semantics or a different (usually more clear) way of explaining it. Sometimes it was as if he had anticipated my question ahead of time and gave his answer to it within the next page or two. My encouragement to the reader is not necessarily to come to every exact conclusion the author leads you to, but rather to use what you read to provide a springboard for your own thinking and studying, allowing the spirit to guide you into all truth. This is a book about the gospel and its power – not just to provide us with eternal life, but to give us abundant life in the here and now. Purchase here.

 

3. The Pastor's Wife by Sabina Wurmbrand

Perhaps you are familiar with the story of Richard Wurmbrand, who wrote the book Tortured for Christ, which was about his experience being imprisoned and tortured for his faith in Communist Romania. The Pastor's Wife is his wife Sabina's story, who was also imprisoned for her faith. The entire family, including their son, suffered in unspeakable ways; however they never lost their faith and their joy in the Lord. While Sabina's story is a narrative account of everything she went through, I found myself picking up nugget after nugget of spiritual wisdom that could only have been obtained when one has had their faith stretched to its maximum capacity as Sabina did. I was encouraged to live my life wholly for Christ, to love the brethren with a pure heart even when I do not always have the same opinions or methods of doing things as they do, and to pray fervently for those who are in bonds and who are actively suffering as followers of Christ.  Purchase the book here.

 

4. God's Double Agent by Bob Fu

 

I was encouraged by Bob's testimony of God's faithfulness in his life. The circumstances of how God drew Bob to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and how He directed Bob's life in so many ways was a blessing to read. This book will make you grateful to live in a country where we have to freedom to believe what we like and to share Jesus with others without fear of imprisonment or death. It's important to be aware of what Christians in countries like China go through in order to bear the name of Christ, and I am driven to pray that I too will have the same devotion to Him as they do. Purchase this book here.

 

 

5. Fire Road: The Napalm Girl's Journey Through the Horrors of War to Faith, Forgiveness, and Peace

 

 

I never tire of reading testimonies of God's goodness in the lives of others. Although Kim Phuc (“the Napalm girl”) suffered the horrors of war, God never ceased to draw her toward himself with his marvelous love. He protected her and He directed her step by step, allowing others to help meet her needs, and in turn she has been a blessing to many people all across the world. Purchase the book here.

 

 

Where I get books to read

I read 90% of my books on the Scribd app. I pay $9.99 a month, and I can read or listen to whatever I want on the app. (You don't own the books permanently, but you can read or listen to anything as long as you have a subscription.) They have just about everything on my book list available. Rarely do they not have a book that I'm wanting to read or listen to. I really love it because I spend far less than I would to purchase new books, while at the same time keeping my home clutter free. (Click here to try it free for 60 days.)

 

 

Other things I did this month:

 

I busted out my huge 10 qt. Instant Pot for the first time. I have two 6 qt. pots that I use daily, but I had been wanting a larger one so that I can make enough food for our family of 7 to actually have leftovers!

I was able to fit 35 potatoes in here and make a humongous batch of mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. The 10 qt. is definitely going to be a welcome addition to my kitchen (even though it is a beast to find a place for!)   Get the 10 qt. Instant Pot here.

 

I also loaded up my freezer with another huge haul of meat from ButcherBox.

The longer I have my subscription, the more I love it! I've been able to try more and more types of meat, and have been impressed with every single thing. This time we filled our freezer with:

  • Chicken tenders
  • Chicken breasts
  • Chicken wings
  • Chicken drumsticks
  • Beef roast
  • Ground beef
  • Hamburger patties
  • Hot dogs
  • Bacon
  • Ground pork
  • Ground bison
  • Ground turkey
  • Salmon patties
  • Cod filets
  • Pre-cooked pulled pork

We are not well off; however, with Butcherbox we can afford to purchase quality, grass-fed/pasture raised meat. I posted all the details about how to get the best deal on a subscription. Read that here: How to Get the Best Deal on a Butcherbox Subscription.

 

 

 

Homeschooling

Homeschooling has been taking up more time than ever lately. On one end I am trying to get my middle schooler ready for high school, and on the other end I am doing preschool with my youngest.

Fun fact: I made this set of flashcards for my oldest child nine years ago, and now here I am using them for the last time. It's amazing how quickly time goes by.

 

 

Goals for this month:

Honestly I just want to enjoy the month of December with my kids, while still being consistent with our homeschooling, and all of the daily routines I already try to stick to (eating healthfully, spending daily time with God, etc.)

Christmas is all about Jesus (LIFE is all about Him!) and I want to have plenty of room in my mind to keep my gaze upon Him.

 

Wholesome Thanksgiving Books for Kids

I've always wanted to be one of those moms who is organized to have a collection of Thanksgiving books for kids ready and waiting to use during the month of November.

This year was finally that year!

I searched and curated all the best Thanksgiving kids' books for you and your children to enjoy during this Thanksgiving season. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Pro tip: If you view any of these books on Amazon using a desktop computer, you will have the option to “Look Inside.” This option is not available on mobile devices.

History of Thanksgiving
These books will introduce your children to the history behind why we celebrate Thanksgiving.

1. The First Thanksgiving
An easy reader for grades 1-3, this book is a concise history of the Pilgrim's journey to America and their first winter.

2. Squanto's Journey
A brief history of Squanto's time in Europe, and how he used his knowledge of the English language and his skills as a native American to help the Pilgrims through their first winter in America.

3. Thank you, Sarah
A silly story that introduces children to the woman who worked tirelessly to make Thanksgiving Day a national holiday. Several pages of interesting historical facts and timelines are included in the back of the book.

Modern History
These books share stories of modern immigrants, and describe their thankfulness to live in a country where they have freedom to worship God as the Pilgrims did.

4. Molly's Pilgrim
This is the story of Russian immigrants who learn about the American Thanksgiving holiday, and find that they relate to the same desire for freedom of religion that the Pilgrims had.

5. How Many Days to America
This story is about all immigrants, the difficulties they often face in their journey to America, and the thankfulness they have for the opportunity to move to a free country.

For Toddlers and Preschoolers
Of course I need to include some cute Thanksgiving picture books for the little ones!

6.Thankful Together
I especially like this one because it specifically thanks God. Many books only say “I'm thankful for ___,” but this one specifically says, “Thank you, God, for ____.”

7. Squirrel Says Thank You
This one also specifically thanks God for the blessings we have, like trees, snowflakes, and family.

Counting our Blessings
Books that will cultivate an atmosphere of gratitude in your home.


8. Thanks for Thanksgiving
Although the words are very simple, this book includes captivating, detailed artwork on each page.

9. Thankful
Another simplistic book with reminders of all the many things for which we can be thankful.

10. The Memory Cupboard
A sentimental book that reminds children that it's people and memories that are important, not things.

11. Thank you, God
This book is so beautiful and so much fun! Each page has an envelope or two containing a card of thankfulness written to God for something specific. My children really enjoy opening each envelope to find out what's written on the card inside.

 

Just for Fun

Reading about Thanksgiving for kids doesn't always need to be for the sake of learning. I hope your children enjoy reading just for the love of it!


12. An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving
How can you go wrong with a classic story by Lousia May Alcott?

How to purchase these Thanksgiving books for kids

Option 1: Purchase from Amazon:
You can click on any individual book above, or visit this link to see them all in one place on Amazon.

Option 2: Purchase from Book Outlet:
This is one of my favorite places to shop for books! I often find exactly the book I'm looking for at prices much less than other retailers. Go through this link to get a $10 off $25 coupon, then search for the title of the book you want. As of writing this blog post, they currently have many of the titles on the list above in stock for $2-$3 per book.

 

 

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Homemaking Update September 2020

I enjoyed getting back to old-fashioned blogging last month with a more personal update. I got feedback that you enjoyed it too, so I'm back again this month with another personal update about what I've been up to this past month.

 

My fall garden

I haven't taken the time to water or weed; I've just been letting the plants that were out there do their thing.

The beans just keep coming and coming with no work on my part (other than lots of picking!)

I've also got a beautiful patch of kale, along with a few broccoli plants.

The zinnia patch, although it looks pretty nasty and overgrown as a whole, continues to produce some beautiful blossoms that brighten the bookshelf beside the chair in my room.

 

 

I finished 5 books in August:

1. I Dared to Call Him Father

 

Description:
I Dared to Call Him Father is the fascinating true story of Bilquis Sheikh, a prominent Muslim woman. Her unusual journey to a personal relationship with God turned her world upside down-and put her life in danger. Originally published in 1978, the book has sold 300,000 copies and is a classic in Muslim evangelism. The 25th anniversary edition includes an afterword by a missionary friend of Bilquis who plays a prominent role in the story and an appendix on how the East enriches the West.

My review on Goodreads:

I will never tire of hearing testimonies of God's mercy and grace, and how he so lovingly draws people to Himself.

There were some instances where I was not on the same page theologically with the author, and yet, she was a new Christian living in a country with very little light and much hostility towards Christians.

Her dedication to Christ, her acknowledgement of the weakness of her flesh and total need for dependence on Him were challenging and inspiring to me.

 

2. How Do You Kill 11 Million People? Why the Truth Matters More than You Think

Description:
In this compact, nonpartisan book, Andrews urges readers to be “careful students” of the past, seeking accurate, factual accounts of events and decisions that illuminate choices we face now. By considering how the Nazi German regime was able to carry out over eleven million institutional killings between 1933 and 1945, Andrews advocates for an informed population that demands honesty and integrity from its leaders and from each other.

  • Does it matter that millions of ordinary citizens have checked out of participating in the decisions that shape the future of our country?
  • Which is more dangerous: politicians with ill intent, or the too-trusting population that allows such people to lead them?
  • How are we supposed to tell the difference between the “good guys” and the “bad guys”?
  • How does the answer to this question affect not only our country but our families, our faith, and our values?
  • What happens to a society in which truth is absent?

 

My Review on Goodreads:

I have no feelings either way about this book, and I think that was the author's intent. It simply presents many questions to ponder. It's not a storyline with a resolution; instead the reader is left to answer the questions presented and determine what their own course of action will be.

 

3. Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life

 

Description:
In Indistractable, Eyal reveals the hidden psychology driving us to distraction. He describes why solving the problem is not as simple as swearing off our devices: Abstinence is impractical and often makes us want more.

Eyal lays bare the secret of finally doing what you say you will do with a four-step, research-backed model. Indistractable reveals the key to getting the best out of technology, without letting it get the best of us.

My Review on Goodreads:

Not very cohesively written. I did gain some practical tips; however I feel I could have gained the same amount of benefit much more quickly just by reading a list of the tips instead of picking them up one by one throughout the book.

 

Description:
A work of fiction based on real events. Cover-ups in the church, lies, and hypocrisy drive a teenage boy to make sinful choices. The consequences of those choices affect him and others in greater ways than he ever expected.

My Review on Goodreads:

I laughed and I cried. I couldn't put it down. The author did a phenomenal job taking truth and weaving it into a fictional narrative that tells the story of many survivors of abuse, lies, and cover-ups. The fictional aspect was written realistically, although with a happy ending, which does not always occur for every person who shares the experiences the main characters went through. I appreciated the happy ending, though, because while the book sheds light on problematic issues within churches today, it also shows that these issues can be handled in a way that can be healing for survivors and glorifying to God.

 

5. Words on Fire

Description:

Danger is never far from Audra's family farm in Lithuania. She always avoids the occupying Russian Cossack soldiers, who insist that everyone must become Russian — they have banned Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language. But Audra knows her parents are involved in something secret and perilous.

In June 1893, when Cossacks arrive abruptly at their door, Audra's parents insist that she flee, taking with her an important package and instructions for where to deliver it. But escape means abandoning her parents to a terrible fate.

As Audra embarks on a journey to deliver the mysterious package, she faces unimaginable risks, and soon she becomes caught up in a growing resistance movement. Can joining the underground network of book smugglers give Audra a chance to rescue her parents?

My review on Goodreads:

I found my heart racing and my teeth clenched at many points during the book. The author did a good job portraying the emotions the characters felt.

 

Where I get books to read

I read 90% of my books on the Scribd app. I pay $9.99 a month, and I can read or listen to whatever I want on the app. (You don't own the books permanently, but you can read or listen to anything as long as you have a subscription.) They have just about everything on my book list available. Rarely do they not have a book that I'm wanting to read or listen to. I really love it because I spend far less than I would to purchase new books, while at the same time keeping my home clutter free. (Click here to try it free for 60 days.)

 

Something new I tried this month:

I tried a new clothing subscription service called Wantable this month. I've been using Stitch Fix for several years, but I thought it would be fun to see if a new company would add a little more variety to my wardrobe. I wrote an honest, unsponsored review of Wantable here.

A blog post I wrote this month:

Since grandparents day was in September, I was thinking about my grandparents, and I came up with a list of 5 Things I Learned about Homemaking from my Grandmothers.

 

A goal I worked on this month:

I mentioned last month that I really needed to drink more water because I was feeling like I was dehydrated all the time.

One thing that helped was to fill up a half gallon pitcher in the morning and use it to refill my water bottle through the day. Then I didn't have to keep track of how many bottles I drank; I only needed to try to make sure I emptied the pitcher each day.

I also started adding these mineral drops to my water. They seem to have helped a lot with balancing my mineral levels so that I'm actually absorbing the water I drink. My mouth feels a lot less dry. (This bottle will last forever too since you only use a few drops at a time.)

 

 

Something I've been thinking about this month

I posted the following on Instagram:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

This is what love looks like. ☝🏻 . Yes, I know those are actually strawberries, but strawberries can also look like love. . See, here’s something about me I don’t like saying, but is true. I really, really dislike cooking. I always have. I don’t know why; I think it’s partly because I’m awkward, slow, and messy in the kitchen, and it just usually turns out to be a not-very-enjoyable experience. . But I’ve realized more and more that food is one of the absolute biggest ways to show love to other people. I know for myself that I feel loved when someone makes food for me. There’s just something so comforting about a belly filled with food made with loving hands. . I’ve come to understand that the fact that I find cooking so difficult means I have an opportunity to show love in an even greater way. The effort I put forth is just as much my gift to the recipient as the food itself. . And so today I’ve spent the afternoon preparing a (belated) birthday dinner for my dad with a lot of his favorites – roast beef, mashed potatoes with gravy, green bean casserole, homemade biscuits, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. . I’m slowly learning to appreciate the chance to get into the kitchen and take advantage of the opportunity to give the gift of food to my loved ones. Instead of bucking against it and doing it out of duty, I’m learning to view it as a chance to love. . Anyone else have something in your home you dislike doing? How can you change your mindset from duty to love? . #imperfecthomemaker #onlylovetoday #intentionalhome #lovingmyfamily #christianbloggers #saturdaythoughts #ministryofmotherhood #risenmotherhood

A post shared by MaryEllen Bream (@imperfecthomemaker) on

 

 

And now looking forward to October, here are a few of the things I hope to accomplish:

 

Raise awareness about Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence awareness month, and as an advocate for abuse victims, I spend a lot of time behind the scenes working to support victims.  Along with helping victims themselves I also spend a lot of effort raising awareness for others who can help.

Many people I've met have wonderful hearts and assure me they would be the first to help, but they just don't know “anyone like that.”

But what a lot of people don't realize is that domestic abuse doesn't just happen to women who live with a rough looking guy in a white tank top. It festers silently behind charming smiles and all the right words. It hides behind social media posts where a family looks so happy and perfect. Sometimes the person you share a pew with at church is suffering silently and alone. No one knows what goes on behind the closed doors of her house, and she does not know who she can tell that will believe her story.

 

I don't do much of my advocacy work here on this website, but it is a big part of my personal life, and I'll be spending most of my October speaking on behalf of victims.
If you know someone who may be in an abusive marriage and you're not sure how you can help, please reach out to me via email (imperfecthomemaker@gmail.com), and I will be happy to point you in the right direction.
If you're hurting and confused in your marriage and you're not sure whether you are experiencing abuse or not, feel free to email me so I can direct you to resources that will offer some clarity about your situation.

 

This Month I Plan to Read:

Is it Abuse? by Darby Strickland.

As a domestic abuse advocate, I am always previewing books that I think will be helpful for both victims and for those who want to help a friend or loved one who may be a victim.

I pre-ordered this book last month, and it arrived recently. It's pretty thick and might take me more than a month to get through it.

 

Sourdough starter?

This one was on my maybe list last month. It's something I've been wanting to do for a long time, but there are only so many hours in the day. I was hoping to fit this in, but I was also trying a new routine with some supplements I'm taking at various points through the day. I didn't feel like it was wise to add multiple new routines to each day, so I put this one on hold last month. We'll see if I can do it this month.

 

Well that was fun! If you want to see even more, you can follow me on Instagram. Thanks for following along!

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