Blogs that Inspire Me

I love reading the work of others.  I find that I take away something different and important from most of the blogs that I read.  There are several blogs that I read every day….and for different reasons.  I’d love to share some of my favorites with you.  Chances are, you might enjoy and benefit from them as well.

Crystal at MoneySavingMom has been my virtual friend (who I’ve never actually met or spoken to) since the twins were born five years ago.  I was at home with three children under the age of 2.  Her honesty, her attitude, and her encouragement truly helped to keep me sane.  Visiting her site felt like a little window into the outside world.  If you’ve never been at home alone with babies for days/nights (it is all the same) then that might seem exaggerated.  Trust me. It’s not.  Anyway, I digress.  Check her out.  She offers so much more than financial wisdom.  You won’t be disappointed.

Lisa Jo Baker speaks directly to my mama heart.  She has an amazing way with words and I always come away encouraged and refreshed.  As a motherless daughter, she gives wonderful wisdom and insight into the lessons that we can take away from loss….so much inspiration to be gained there.  Her new book is high on my wish list.

Becoming Minimalist offers such great wisdom and goes completely counter-cultural to all that the world tells us about consumerism.  Joshua’s own personal story is inspiring.  I leave his site challenged and motivated to be better and achieve more.  His blog was the inspiration for one of my most recent posts,  Less.

Proverbs31Ministries is absolutely FILLED with inspiration. You can read a daily devotion, listen to an online radio program, or take part in free Bible studies.  I try very hard to start every day with my First5 App which is part of this ministry.  I have learned so much and have seen firsthand how starting the day with scripture helps me on my way!

I hope that you can visit these sites.  If you have others that inspire you, I’d love to hear about them and check them out.

A Bee Named Martha – Issues with Priorities

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Did you know that the average worker bee produces about 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime?  To me, that seems like all that important work and investment of time gives such a small payoff.  The length of the honeybee’s life is directly related to the job that it does for the hive.  Those who don’t have a productive role can be “kicked out” if space becomes limited.  Such interesting, unique creatures.

Friday was my husband’s birthday…and I was a lot like a honeybee.  I ran around buzzing, fussing, and making little progress for most of the day.  I’m also sure that the bee has less of a crappy perspective than I did.  I tend to think that if I was going to run around and do all that work then there should be something amazing created from it –  1/12 of a teaspoon of honey.  No way!  Not worth it!

You see, my head gets all messed up like that.  To-do lists and fatigue mess with my ability to clearly focus.  Most of the time, I’m all off in how my actions line up with my priorities.  The things that I do spend time on aren’t matching up with my intentions.  And then there’s my attitude.  Because a lot of the time, it sucks.  I’m irritable and tired and not very fun to be around.  I focus way too much on the unimportant and just skip on past the important.  I get the necessary things done.  I mean I always, always pull it off.  If you need it done, then I’m your girl.  However, I miss the bigger picture in the meantime.  My priorities can be way, way off.I was frantically washing dishes and Annabeth kept coming in and asking me to “come see the show.”  After putting her off by telling her that I had too much to do before the party, I convinced her that I could see the show out the kitchen window.  It satisfied her – only it really didn’t.  What it did was convey that these dishes weren’t going to wait and that her show was.  So backwards.

I know I’m not alone in this.  People for thousands of years have struggled with how to set their priorities.  Consider the story of Mary and Martha in the Bible.  I’ve heard the story of how Mary and Martha interacted with Jesus a million times.   Luke 10:38-42

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. 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!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a]Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

AND I STILL FALL SHORT!  I still act like Martha.  I am consciously working on this part of my personality.  I have a long way  to go.  As always, I’m a work in progress.

So, how can I change this?  Talking about how flawed I am doesn’t really help solve the issues.  I have to make changes if I want to see a change.  These are my intentions for this week:

  • STOP what I’m doing and greet Henry when he comes in from work…with a smile (even if I don’t feel like smiling because I’m in the  middle of who knows what)
  • TRY very hard not to complain (this is a tough one for me)
  • LOOK the kids in the eye and actively listen to what they are saying to me
  • PUT the phone down and interact
  • PRAY more

Those goals may sound ridiculous because these are things that I should be doing anyway. But, they are mine and I need to achieve them.  I want my actions to match with my heart’s priorities.  I really don’t want to be like a bee named Martha.





Declutter.  Simplify. Clean out.  Purge.

Whatever you call it, I love it!  One of my favorite days around here is the trash collection day!  Seriously!

I often have anxiety and very few things get my heart racing and my chest tightening (I know they make medications for this) like having junk all over the place.  I can’t just put it into a container and store it somewhere.  I KNOW it’s there.  It still stresses me.  Out of sight is NOT out of mind for me.

I have worked for a couple of years to get rid of things that we don’t find useful and things that don’t add value to our lives.  I have read about 100 ebooks, an equal number of blogs, had three yard sales, and donated several vans full of junk to goodwill…….and sometimes I really can’t tell much of a difference!  Henry often tells the girls to keep moving or they will be in the next load of giveaways.  Somehow, we still have too much stuff.   I am convinced that our stuffed animals, our laundry, and our dust all multiply exponentially overnight.

How does cleaning out the excess add value to my life:

  1. LESS time cleaning and sorting   – It is not unusual for most (if not all) of Saturday to be spent cleaning the house.  The more stuff I have, the more stuff I need to maintain.  Ugh!  So much for a weekend!
  2.  LESS decisions to be made – I don’t know about you but I have things that just need a good place to “live” in our home and I just can’t find it.  I waste precious energy trying to figure out what to do with it!  The answer is get rid of it!
  3. LESS searching for things – Keys? Wallet? Coats? and the other 99 things that are needed to get out the door.
  4. LESS money spent – Have you ever bought a second of something that you simply could not find?  Ahem, yes?!  Me too!
  5. LESS frustrationEveryone loves clean spaces.  They may not like to clean it but everyone feels calmer and less irritable when their surroundings are peaceful and calm.  Ever had a massage on a table covered with a pile of laundry?  Exactly!


  • More Energy

  • More Freedom

  • More Order

  • More time to climb trees….

20141220_152504….and that is always a good thing!

I will be beginning a 7 day decluttering challenge here next week to celebrate Spring! I hope that you will join me!