Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 32/ 365


Hi! Welcome back! I'd invite you in, but I'm combing out my hair after my bath (snarl city) and am in my jammies ready for bed.
Have a blessed day, all. Get some rest and stay warm!!!


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Joy Dare~ January 2013

1st~ 3 gifts heard~  Matthew's chatter, coffee brewing, fire crackling  
2nd~ a gift outside, inside, on a plate~ Matt hiking Monee Resevoir with Boy Scouts, house coming together, turkey casserole
3rd~ 3 graces you overheard~ Avon orders, Aiden's greeting, Caleigh's chatter when I talk to her about a new dolly and a hand made wardrobe for her dolly
4th~ a gift old, new, blue~ Grandpa's clock, fresh coupons (maybe I'm a little addicted!), soft cotton blanket
5th~ something you're reading, making, seeing~ Bible, hats, life in a whole new light!
7th~ 3 graces from people you love~ sweet Matt in the morning; greetings from Aiden when he came to spend afternoon at work; fresh cooperation from Matt this evening
8th~ dusky light, surprising reflection, lovely shadow~ filtering in through gold curtain above my bed, me happy,
9th~a gift held, passed by, sat with~ Caleigh Ann; hurt feelings; phone call 
10th~   a gift sour, sweet, just right~ loading alone; Aiden's joy at seeing me; $5.00 for 3 kitchen bags of crushed pop cans
11th~ 3 yellow gifts of fresh mercy~ conversation with a likeminded friend; just letting it all happen; the revealing
12th~ something above, below, beside~ early morning clouds over Manhattan, IL; boiler; my son as we work as a team
13th~ 3 things about yourself you are grateful for~ ability to create independence in my son; sense of adventure; love of homesteading
14th~ 3 startling graces of God~ friend's help even when stakes rise; that rotors waited to crack until they were removed (instead of while I was diving!); helping with Matt's Boy Scout troop 
15th~ a gift worn, given away, shared~ security in salvation through Christ; hugs to Matt and Caleigh; hope for the trial of Jose A. Sims for the murder of my brother, James W. Joyce
16th~ 3 witnessed blessings~ sweet shy smile; Matt's sense of urgency that he be on time to tutor kids at Boys and Girls Club; a friend resurfacing and learning he's still in church  
17th~ a gift bringing laughter, prayer, quiet~ Caleigh's chatter; my job; doing books at work
18th~ 3 gifts from God's word~ 1 Corinthians 13 (it's more than 3 gifts to read it every day AND apply it to my life)
19th~ 3 gifts that might never have been~ Matt, Aiden and Caleigh
20th~ 3 gifts only seen close up~ love in eyes; intelligence; love of learning
21st~ a gift in sky, water, memory~ howling winds; snow cover; that certain hug
22nd~ a gift wrinkled, smoothed, unfolded~ Matt's bed-head; hurt feelings; His direction in my life
23rd~ 3 gifts found in Christ~ knowing what He wants me to do and the blessings that knowledge brings; 1 Corinthians 13; Prayer of Jabez and increase it brings
24th~ 3 gifts blue~ my little Bible; my coffee 'cup'; forms to fill out
25th~ a grace borrowed, found, inherited~ my time on earth; new/ renewed purpose in Him (He is slowly revealing direction); love of homesteading  
26th~ a gift before dawn, at noon, after dark~ Matt snoring on his pallet; shopping with Matt for work (coupons and flyers in hand!);  that certain phone call
27th~ 3 gifts in the kitchen~ Charlene teaching me to serve donuts at church; invite to dinner with a good friend at Golden Coral; quick, easy, satisfying supper with a sweet boy
28th~ 3 graces found in friends~ longsuffering; gentleness; encouragement
29th~ a song heard, a soft word, light seen~ WBGL; Jessie stopping by my office to say good morning; blessings of being single 
30th~ 3 old things seen new~ relationships; family; job
31st~ a gift on a paper, in a person, in a picture~  


Day 31/ 365




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Squirrel Nests?




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Day 31/ 365




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Day 31/ 365


Peace and blessings to all of you as you head into work today!


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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

If Your Neighbor's House Burns


Hi and welcome back to our humble homestead!
I'm afraid my mind is on a less than fun, but necessary, topic today. You see, my neighbors' house burned (note blue tarps on far roof!). And we slept through the pre-dawn commotion and sirens! We didn't realize until we left for work and saw that the street behind us was blocked off with 2 fire trucks, ambulances and police cars!
Now, when we first bought the house, I had intended to re roof with a steel roof and to reside with concrete fire rated siding, but, as happens, I haven't gotten to these upgrades yet.
This deficiency really hit home when Carlene's house burned.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 29/ 365


It's January 29th and I'm in zone 5b (Chicagoland), so why is it 58.9F!


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Morning, World!


Pooh and my latest knitting project will watch my bed as I go through another busy day!


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Monday, January 28, 2013

A Single Mom's Time...


Well, it's late here in my world and I am just barely starting to prep Avon brochures for tomorrow.
We've had a full day with Matt at school and myself at work. Then we had the Red and Green Banquet for Boy Scout advancements followed by laundry and bedtime for Matt. Now that I've done a bit of deep cleaning and sorted some receipts to prepare for taxes, I took a break for a bath (we encourage that) and I'm working on my Avon business.
There just never seem to be enough hours in any day and I am behind on everything except my job.
I really really need twice as many waking hours (to fully catch up and get ahead) followed by a full nights sleep where I can wake without an alarm defining when I'm 'rested'!


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K-Love's 30 Day Challenge~ Day 13/ 30


I have to say I'm doing pretty well with this, although I did struggle a to tune out country music played in a friend's car on a road trip (love country music!)!
This morning, as I do books across the hall, I am grateful they are not playing rock music in their office, but I am also having to periodically skip songs as my mp3 player comes to a soothing James Taylor or bouncy Raffi (Baby Beluga) song!
I choose not to delete these songs so I hit 'skip' this month and listen to 'Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord' by Casting Crowns instead..
0:)


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Red ChemTrails at Night...


So, let me ask, if red skies at night are a sailor's delight, what are chem trails at night?
A sky lit up with toxic chemicals!


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1 Corinthians 13 Challenge~ Day 10/ 30

Well, I must admit that, although this challenge is helping me, I am (internally) quite a grouch. Yesterday I didn't read it myself, instead having Matt read it to me. He is a kind soul, that boy~ loving and sweet. I think my problem lies in how I would like 'things' compared with my reality. I long for a world we have far parted from and will never return to until the second coming. And, so, I am continually disappointed with so much.
And yet, I am surrounded by a select few who are a true blessing to my little world. Those people are special to me and I am blessed to have them. They remind me, unintentionally, that there are still tiny pockets of true Christian love out there.
 
And He comforts me daily (sometimes minute by minute) showing me where He's taking me and new perspectives on the mire I wade through now.
And, so I will stop and read a minute and thank Him for His word!
.
.
.
Ah, His Word refreshes and renews!  

Extreme Couponing for Work


Hi! I have to say I am still a bit behind on clipping and sorting my coupns, but still having fun with it. Today I went shopping for work, so I sat up late last night clipping coupons to match up with my sales flyers.
With a savings of 58.35% I think I did pretty well!


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Morning, Snuggle-Bug!


Matt loves to roll up in comforters year-round and over-night adventures at work are no exception!


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Sunday, January 27, 2013

'Wife' Bible Study


Hello there! Tonight I am spending the night at work and using this time to continue/ revisit my study of all verses using the word 'wife' in the Bible. This was suggested to me some time ago by Rita from Under the Broom Tree and was she right! Doing a prayerful study of these verses has really helped me to grow toward someday being a godly wife.
The first time I did this study I underlined all verses in pink in my big study Bible. Now, as I reread each and listen for God's guidance I am underlining in my small Bible.
Tonight I pick up where I left off, my first verse to study being 2 Samuel 11:3.
.
.
.
I've studied all I can absorb (and then some) for tonight. My lesson for tonight is to be a virtuous and prudent wife remembering that this marriage must last.
And so, I travel through my Bible, being gently taught and guided by my Lord and Savior!
Stay in the Word and be blessed!


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Saturday, January 26, 2013

New ~ Five Year Plan!

Hi!
I was visiting over at http://simplemom.net/five-year-plan/ and thought I'd write my own five year plan as I'm a big fan of lists. 
I have to say, as she did, that this isn't written in stone. Also, as I am currently single, this could change if I were to remarry.
That said, here's what I came up with:
(I will be updating this as I go along, so I am posting it unfinished, although it may never be 'finished'!)
 
2013
Parkway re landscaped (plan drawn out~ watch free_cycle for evergreens); firewood stocked (daily gather more than we need for that day~ good workable plan); income more diversified (submit first article for publication; push myself on Avon); larger unconnected circle of true friends (beginning to meet people; learn to trust again; church helps; finish landscaping around pond (need to lay out on paper); finish drafting plan for out back and begin to put into place; go to Owasippe with Matt's Boy Scout Troop (take Assistant Scoutmaster training); finish fencing on north side of homestead; go to drive-in movie at least once; living fence planted completely around perimeter (beginning to prep area for planting; re purpose current plantings as much as possible); 'wildlife sanctuary' finished and self-sustainable out back (watch for free supplies); published (set aside time to work on pulling together first article to be submitted); 50+ hats knitted and donated (raising the bar) (watch for offers of free yarn and items to decorate hats) (10 donated!); all started repairs on house finished (make time daily; watch for free supplies~ changed first light fixture!!); prayerfully consider His plan and assure that all my plans line up with His plan for my life (continue praying that He remove/ add people to my life~ love watching how this plays out!); all light fixtures in house updated; play video games regularly with Matt; hike weekly (safe weather permitting); take better care of myself~ health, rest; proficient with extreme couponing;      
2014
Homesteading and foraging as primary food sources (work on plan for out back; prep beds for spring planting; prep to start seeds indoors); actively teaching (begin to pull together ideas);    
2015
2016
2017
Matt at Eagle Scout and driving his own car; income necessary for survival totally separate from current job; house sold (as soon as market flips back) and Matt and I moved to a rural homestead;  

Homesteading as Community Service?


As we continually forage for free firewood one of our favorite places is Oakwood Cemetery. This is because our foraging is appreciated.
As we cruise through the cemetery picking up fallen branches we are saving the volunteers from having to do that before they mow.
And it's such a pretty peaceful cemetery it's a pleasure to drive through.




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Day 26/ 365




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Friday, January 25, 2013

Roasty-Toasty Warmth



We are so grateful for a good fire!


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Focusing Where He Intends

Sometimes I just disappoint myself. I mean, yes, I know I am doing well with the cards I have been dealt, but I see where I fall short so much more clearly because it's about my own life. You know, it's so easy to block out what shortcomings we have in our own lives and focus on what we presume to be shortcomings in the lives of those around us. We get so wrapped up in what so-and-so did or should be doing that we fail to look into our own hearts and at our own words and actions.
There is a very wise woman who said, "keep your eyes on yourselves and not on your sisters!" What she was referring to was worrying about your own salvation/ your walk with Christ and not how those around you live. You are personally responsible to God for your own behavior and will be held accountable. What will He say about the way you have lived since your salvation? Will He say, "Well done!"?
We live in an anything goes kind of world right now where most people seem to find inappropriate behavior completely acceptable, so living a Christian life can really set us appart. Even if the bevaior/ lifestyles of others is distressing to us, we really can only do so much to impact it. We can, however, lead our lives in such a way that our walk with Christ causes them to wish they had what we have!
We need to wake up every morning and ask God to show us His will for our day
and
to help us be willing to be broken to His will.
We need to show the fruits of the spirit,
read
1 Corinthians 13
and then act on those verses.
For myself it is focusing on where He is sending me and what He wants from me each day and not worrying about how those around me conduct themselves. I
 must focus on the path He has me on each day.
Only then will I be able to fulfill His will for my life and walk into heaven with a clean conscience!


Great Sock Mystery!


As I stand at my kitchen table contemplating all our socks without mates, it occurs to me that these should breed when left unsupervised, providing us with pairs!


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Day 25/ 365


Miss Caleigh Ann at work bundled up warm and having her bottle~ Awe!
Such a good baby!


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Day 25/ 365



Finally a bit of snow for our parched ground.
I can not say when the last measurable precipitation was and am concerned for our area.
We are in drought mode every summer even with all the snow we normally get.
This winter we've barely had an inch of snow and no rain to speak of.
If this trend continues,
we will have a long water-rationing summer!


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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sincerity with God

I have recently noticed (re noticed) that I am unnecessarily concerned about others opinions of me while in worship at church. This isn't a new situation as I've been through this before. Initially it stemmed from attending a church where every behavior was scrutinized and later evaluated for sincerity with God. And, actually, this has happened at three (3) separate churches in two (2) states.  
Now, as I stand for praise and worship time, I worry~ am I raising my hands too high; not high enough; too early? Does my worship look sincere enough to those around me?
And I know it is this public worship that is my hang-up as my worship in my Jeep and living room is relaxed and amazing.
I know in my heart that it realy doesn't matter how any person perceives my elationship with God. That is a very personal relationship that no other person can judge. Only He and I know where we stand. And, I try to remind myself of this as I rise from my chair and as I lift my hands in praise for all He has done for me. I ask, "please, God, let my focus be you right now~ just you and I here!" And, for a time, it is just the two (2) of us there in the sanctuary. It is beautiful. As I stood last night a man walked into service and humbly got down on his knees, head bent before his God, and I knew I must just let go. I'm in a safe place now where I can just worship Him unjudged.
And so, as we each enter into praise and worship with our Lord, can't we each remember that our relationships with Him are private? That some raise their hands, some pray in tongues, some sway, some sing out, some jump and scream. But all worship Him in their own way. It is not for us to judge them and harsh words spoken directly to them or when we think they can't hear us can really hinder their walk.   
 
Let us be uplifting to our brothers and sisters in Christ,
not a stumbling block!


Waiting on Him/ Following His Directives

Hello there! Welcome back into my little world and our humble homestead. I am finding myself in a bit of a holding pattern lately. Well, maybe not a holding pattern as much as He's holding while I need to get done what He's asked. So, my hold-ups are holding me back from where He wants to send my life next!
Wow! Although I had said this to myself, typing it out makes it so much more real~
In My Face!
And what He is asking of is so simple~ clean and organize my home. Just that. Nothing more. That is my next preparatory step to where He is sending me.
Part of the problem I am encountering is the simple fact that my house is a 'rehab', meaning I am working on a myriad of upgrades and repairs in virtually every room!
What was I thinking?!?!
Okay, so I thought this process through.. hmmm.... my Mom is always doing this to whichever house she's currently flipping and her house is organized (does not look like it exploded!). Hmmmm....... You know, she only works on one room at a time allowing use of the other rooms.
Not creating upheaval throughout the whole house.
And, so, that is where I am headed. For now I am going to use my living room for storage (records to file, boxes to haul to Mom's in Ohio, tools to be sorted, packets of seeds, etc) and deep clean the other rooms. Then, as I finish one room, I will move on to the next.
And I will slowly (although this should pick up momentum) get the house in shape.
And all the while listening to praise and worship music
and dreaming
of where He's sending my life next!

Totally Kissable Lipstick!


Avon's new lipstick is here
And only $0.99
until 2.2.13
with each $10 purchase from brochure 4
Don't Miss Out!!
www.youravon.com/karenjoyce


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Gathering Firewood!


Sometimes we gather firewood in the cold, so it is so nice to have a double-thick ski mask!
This cute 'monster' is my helper and is becoming quite proficient at gathering firewood. Once we have loaded up our Jeep, we'll head home to unload and stack it all.
Our theory~ if we gather more firewood than we need each day, eventually we will have one (1) extra year of wood and can breathe!
Happy Warm Evenings to You!!!


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"The Human Brain on Chemtrails"

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1 Corinthians 13~ Day 5/ 30


My focus right now, although I'm reading the entire chapter, is verses 4-5. I'm in a position on patience and obedience, so these reinforce my resolve and strengthen me.


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