13 Tips to Help You Focus During Prayer

What’s for dinner? Oh I forgot to get the crockpot going. Babies crying. Where is my Bible? I need coffee. I’m exhausted. I could fall asleep standing up. Oh, darn, the library books are late. 

I surveyed over 200 women and asked them what was the HARDEST thing about PRAYER. Overwhelmingly, the answer was FOCUS. It’s so hard to stay FOCUSED during prayer!

We all struggle. And we can all learn from one another! I hope that one of these simple tips will help you to try something new during your prayer time! And if you have any new ideas,  please leave me a comment!

13 Tips to Help You Focus During Prayer

I created a new video discussing some very practical ideas to help all of us FOCUS more during our prayer time! There is also a PDF tip sheet that you can print and place in your prayer journal!

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What I’m Loving…

What I am loving right now…

Well, I started this post a few weeks ago and I didn’t quite get it posted in January…but I’m still loving each of these.

Please comment below and tell me what YOU are loving right now!

Smoothies

Smoothies are by far the easiest way for me to get in several servings of FRUITS and VEGGIES. I can always tell I have more energy when I’m having a daily smoothie! I have had my Ninja — this blender for years now and *love it.*

Here’s what I toss into the blender for my smoothies, and without measuring, which would feed a few of us:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 big handfuls spinach
  • small handful frozen strawberries
  • small handful frozen blueberries or any frozen fruit
  • greek yogurt
  • orange juice (half my household likes MILK in their smoothies, I prefer the citrus taste)

Water

I am drinking a GALLON of water everyday! I’m feeling GOOD! I squeeze about half a lemon into my big water bottles and also 1 drop of grapefruit or tangerine essential oil. I love citrus flavored water!

I have big cups that I love and I alternate them each day. I have a stainless Bubba cup that I got from Walmart and then this Rtic cup from Amazon. I also purchased a stainless steel set of straws that I love.

 

My Journaling Bible

I have a renewed love for my Bible at the beginning of this year. I think it must be reading the book Women of the Word and realizing just what a treasure we have in those pages! And the journaling Bible just provides so much room in the margins for note taking and prayers and such…

I also happen to adore the journaling Bible monthly devotional KITS from Dayspring. Craft supplies with a focus on JESUS. Yes, please! If you want to see more pictures of my Bible and all the monthly devotional kits, click here! 

Bullet Journal

Super uber simple, I followed Edie’s methods in her free video found here.  So. I was NOT going to jump on the bullet journal band wagon. I wasn’t going to do it! Til I was at a goal setting workshop with the amazing Dr. Edie of LifeinGrace blog and she pretty much convinced me. {grin} She has a free video you can sign up to receive in your email and it goes over exactly how she does it. Her ideas are so simple that we can all benefit from it!

Essential oils

I also have a growing and somewhat renewed love for my oils. I have been using Young Living oils for a little over a year now. I can tell such a difference in these oils and the ones I used to use. My mood and overall emotional well being is more STABLE, I’m using their fruit juice supplement and have more ENERGY, our house is generally very WELL. I taught my first class on DITCHING THE TOXINS via video on facebook. I am just loving it all!

I wrote about the oils I use every single day as well as 5 simple resources to DITCH THE TOXINS from your home recently!

Exercising regularly

Ouch. Yep. It’s the beginning of a new year, of course I am exercising. LOL! But I feel so.much.better. I told my husband that weight lifting and walking/jogging 3-4 times a week leaves me feeling empowered. Like I really CAN do hard things. Maybe I’m not a wimp after all. And, handling stress is something I actually can do when I’m exercising. My body needs it.

I am blessed to have several friends meeting me at our church facility several times a week to walk and exercise together. I have a personal trainer friend who put together a work out plan for me and I am VERY surprised by how much I am loving it!

Here is what I wrote recently on Instagram about exercising and how I’m feeling!

3 days in a row!! 👊This is my 4th week of exercising 3-4 times per week with an hour or more each time. I think my body was in shock at first, and now I think I’m just on a high. I don’t even seem to care (yet) about the numbers on the scale but I love feeling so good. When you’ve felt lousy, when you’ve suffered from depression, when you’ve come out of a stressful semester, when you’ve been parenting and homeschooling for years, when you’ve got several teens in your home…I guess your body kind of forgets what it’s like to feel good and stays in stressed-out mode. Thank You, Lord!! I know it’s combined with eating better, not so much sugar, my super juice supplement and THE GRACE OF GOD. Help me to keep it up, dear Lord!!!! 🙏 I also continue to be thankful every time I walk in the facility at #manleybaptist because I can come and do this without huge monthly fees. Huge blessing!

Live videos for inspiration

Are any of you enjoying  live videos from your favorite bloggers and online authors as much as I am?? Some of my favorites:

Edie Wadsworth of LifeinGrace blog, she also leads the essential oil group I’m in, she does videos and classes online and also does AMAZING videos and talks in our business building group. She has done a goal setting workshop, a talk on living out of LOVE and not fear, how to grow your business and more. If you want to join our Young Living team, please send me a message. Here are her public videos from her blog page! 

Crystal Paine of Money Saving Mom – I’ve done a few of her courses which are video based but I also have loved her periscopes and facebook live videos through 2016 as she talked about her year of rest. Here are Crystal’s public videos from her Money Saving Mom page. 

Are there any bloggers or others that you like to follow with their live videos? I would love to hear who you love listening to! 

4 Ways to Chase Slow

I just finished the book Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner. It was so good and exactly what my heart needed. As you know, I’ve been on this journey myself. I read Present Over Perfect a few months ago and it kind of propelled me on this journey. This book was just the encouragement I needed to keep going against the grain of more, more, more.

Both of these books really made my heart stop and ask, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10.

4 Ways to Chase Slow

These things are just things God has been teaching me. They weren’t necessarily listed in the book in this way, but just themes God is placing on my heart time and time again lately. I hope something here resonates with you, too!

  1. Say no. Say it once today. Say it again tomorrow. Keep practicing. It won’t get easier but you WILL get better at it!
  2. But say yes to what matters. Saying no to some things allows us to say yes to the right things! As an example, my schedule was freed up just a little bit when I decided to stop teaching piano lessons. While that was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made before, it has allowed me to say YES to more time for homeschooling and  time for exercise and cooking healthy dinners!! I’m saying yes to the most important things in this season! But it had to start with a “no.”
  3. Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses. Keep up with God instead. Don’t look to the left or the right…don’t feel inferior because of what so-and-so is doing. You look at the path God has given you and put one foot in front of the other!
  4. Abide in Christ. Read John 15 and ask God to show you where you are abiding. To abide means to dwell. To reside. Where are your thoughts residing? What about your heart? Where is your heart’s home? What are you dwelling on more: Pinterest or God?

Favorite Quotes from the Book

“Ask an Ethiopian what they need and they might tell you with a wide smile: amassing is meaningless. There is only today, with holes in our pockets, with time spilling out. We cannot keep it for tomorrow. We cannot mend our seams to hoard, save, carry. Ask a bird how to fly, and it might tell you to remove the weight from your wings.” Erin Loechner

“Sometimes choppy waters teach us to sail better.” Erin Loechner

“We changed the rules, that is all. The instructions told us that hard work means logging a lot of hours at the office to pay for more things so as to appear you are logging a lot of hours at the office. The instructions tell us to work hard, then play hard, but mostly work hard. You can play hard when you’re dead. Isn’t this called responsibility? Isn’t this called wisdom? Straighten up, young man, you’ve got a mortgage to pay. 

We tore the instructions to shreds, and then, Lord, have mercy, we bowled. [referencing an earlier portion where they began taking “off the bumpers” of life.]

Ken quit Hollywood and began freelancing for film startups and marketing firms. I left the ad agency and filled in the pay gap with income from my blog. I began producing an independent design zine. We visited gallery shows and shopped artist warehouse sales. We went to the pier, over the Ferris Wheel, to the shore. We held hands in the grocery store. We once ate a pint of ice cream for dinner. For dinner!

…It was not without work. It was not all fun and games. It was not effortless, discarding the rules you’d memorized as a kid. There’s a reason those bumpers exist – so our balls don’t end up in the gutters. But Ken and I would never again step back into our life of fast, our Hollywood rat race, our productivity spin cycle. We had come to love our slower life – a life less stressed, less scheduling, less stifling.

For the first time in my life, I was beginning to see the appeal of less.” Erin Loechner from Chasing Slow

What do you think?

I would love some input from you! What are ways we can purposefully CHASE SLOW?

And, what books help you keep this mentality? I need to keep reading for motivation and inspiration to keep saying NO to the things I need to say no to in order to say YES to what is best for this season.

One such book that really began my journey of “chasing slow” was when I read Present Over Perfect a few months ago! This book was life changing for me. You can find see my video discussing this book and other books I read in 2016 here. 

Facebook Live Video Discussion

An In-depth Study of the Gospel of John

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” John 1:4-5

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30

“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.” John 8:31-32

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

“I am the vine, you are the branches.” John 15:5

“In this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Can you believe all of the amazing truths that come from the book of John??

Lenten Bible Study

I am so excited to start studying the book of John with our closed Bible Study group on Facebook! We will be starting our study officially on March 1st and go all the way through the Lenten season up to Easter. Each week we will meet for a discussion on the readings from that week.

We will be following the process and steps that we learned about from Jen Wilkin’s book Women of the Word. I have created a reading schedule, a page that lists all the steps from Jen’s book, as well as some lovely verses for you to print and place around your home as visual reminders.

I am sharing this blog post BEFORE Lent starts because I have an early assignment for you! Between now and March 1st, read the entire book of John at least once! If you’re able, read it more than once! This is part of the method that Jen Wilkin teaches, read the portion of Scripture you will be studying multiple times before you dig in to actually study it! 

Go here to request to join our closed facebook group for book & Bible studies! 

Click on the graphic or link to download and print your PDF files! 

John in 40 Days Reading Schedule

The Gospel of John in 40 Days PDF

Plan for Bible Study – can be used with ANY book of the Bible

A Plan for Bible Study PDF

 

Scripture Verse Printables

John 10 10 PDF

He must increase PDF

 

More Resources for Lent

Below are listed a LOT of various resources for Lent! Choose 1 or 2 links to add to your Lenten season but don’t get bogged down by a huge list of to-do’s and don’ts.

This year, I will be studying John and reading through this book. She uses passages from John each day in the short devotionals.

If you are unable to join us as we study John, or you may wish to find other resources for Lent, here are some more favorites of mine!

I have been collecting ideas I’ve found online for the past several years, books, devotions, ideas for activities and ways to observe Lent…there are some awesome ideas out there! I hope you will take a look at these resources.

Free Lenten Devotionals 

Favorite Books for Lent
Links Around the Web

Lent & Easter Pinterest Board

Join me on Pinterest where I pin lots of great Christ-Centered ideas for families to use during the Lenten and Easter season!

Follow His Mercy is New’s board Easter ~ Christ Centered Ideas & Other Easter Fun on Pinterest.

Five Simple Resources to Help Detoxify Your Home

 

I recently held a facebook class on DITCHING THE TOXINS in our homes. I followed up with a facebook live video telling about the products I use every single day in our home that are GOOD for our health and aren’t bringing toxins into the home. I had several people ask me to create a list of these items!

Part 1: The Essential Oils I Use Daily

Do you know what the most toxic items are in your home? I can name a few of the worst offenders: fabric softener, detergent, deodorant, cleaners…

5 Simple Resources for Detoxifying Your Home

This blog post will cover the following 5 resources!

  1. An app to use on your phone
  2. A Household Cleaner you can use to replace ALL other cleaners
  3. Homemade Deodorant Recipe
  4. Young Living Starter Kit
  5. Free 14-day Email Course on Essential Oils
  6. Bonus Tip: Dr. Bronner’s for all the things

Resources for Detoxifying Your Home

A Helpful App

A friend told me about this app: Think Dirty App (Dirty means TOXINS, y’all.) And it is SO EYE OPENING. Warning: Do not start scanning products in your home unless you are ready to make some big changes. You can use this app to scan bar codes of items such as shampoo, make up, dish soap, tooth paste, detergent and more. It will then give you a rating. A lot of things in my home were 9s and 10s. That is the worst rating there is! I’m slowly working to replace all the items that were that high.

One Household Cleaner

The Cleaner to Replace ALL your other cleaners: The Thieves Household Cleaner can literally be used on everything in your home! With ONE CLEANER you can replace all the bad stuff!

Here is the awesome thing about the Thieves cleaner — one bottle of CONCENTRATE costs $22 (wholesale price.) You can use this bottle of cleaner for nearly a year depending on how much you clean at your house. {grin} You pour ONE-TWO CAPFULS of the concentrate into a regular sized spray bottle, then fill with water. That’s it!

Homemade Deodorant That Works

Did you know that most deodorants purchased at the grocery store have aluminum in them? Did you know that aluminum is linked with cancer and Alzheimer’s? Yet we rub it on our bodies every single day.

I have tried several natural or organic deodorants over the years. In the last 2 months I have tried Tom’s, Kiss My Face, and Young Living brand deodorants. None of them have kept me from stinking, unfortunately. I apologize to my friends who have hugged me in the last few months. YIKES.

Well, my friend Denise has been making this deodorant for years now. I actually tried it a few years ago and couldn’t get used to rubbing it on with my hands. Well, I was desperate so I tried it again. It only took a few minutes to heat the ingredients and mix it up. Then, you wait a few hours for it to “set” and harden…

I’ve used this deodorant now for a few weeks. I have walked and jogged and lifted weights. I have helped a friend pack up her house. I have done my normal everyday stuff. And I’m so excited to tell you that I haven’t been stinky!!! HA!!

Feel free to grab her recipe and print a copy for yourself!

Natural Deoderant PDf

Starter Kit from Young Living

If you have the starter kit and the Thieves cleaner you can rid your home of 90% of the toxins! 

When Dr. Edie told us this in a class, I was shocked. And I was encouraged. You see, I get really overwhelmed when I look at that app and start seeing all the bad stuff in my home. But, in just a few weeks time I have realized that I am making baby steps and every single step is ONE STEP in the right direction!!

The reason the starter kit can help you to rid your home of toxins is that included in this kit are amazing oils that will help replace other things in your home.

Lavender can replace other products you use for cuts and bruises.

Lemon can replace the flavoring you put in your water.

Thieves can replace any germ fighting product you may use on your own bodies and in cleaning your home.

Frankincense can be used to promote healthy skin. (I put 1 drop in my face lotion daily.)

And on and on…

Go here to sign up as a wholesale member by purchasing a premium starter kit! 

Look at this picture of all you get in the starter kit! Woo-hoo!

Resources I Use with My Oils

Carrier Oil – I love using ROLLER BOTTLES on my oils because I can add my own blends and also add a carrier oil to DILUTE the oil and make it last longer! It also goes on much easier with the roller top. This fractionated coconut oil is what I’ve been using as my carrier oil for the last year.

Roller Bottles – The BEST roller bottle tops are the stainless ones from Young Living that fit directly onto a YL bottle. The roller ball is stainless and it so much smoother than the plastic or anything else I’ve found. You can get a package of 10 for 9.95 I believe. (You get at least one in your starter kit!) I have ordered these pretty roller bottles as gifts for Christmas! They are very pretty.

Diffusers – I have multiple Young Living diffusers in my home and love them. I also have a few from Amazon that have worked really well too! I have this one, which has lasted more than a year so far. We had this one and loved it as well!  And  yet one more we’ve had for over a year and it’s still going strong! (WHY YES, I love diffusers and have them in every bedroom and our living areas!! I believe in the power of aromatherapy that much!)

Oils I Use Every Single Day – these are all the oils I use on a DAILY basis

Free 14 Day Email Course

FREE EMAIL COURSE from Dr. Edie Wadsworth — every other day or so you will receive an email telling you about one of the oils in the starter kit! If you’re curious about HOW to use the various oils that come in the starter kit (11 oils in all!!!) then this series will really help you to figure it out!

Bonus Tip – Dr. Bronner’s Soap

So here is another EASY way to get rid of some toxins in your home! A few years ago I wrote this post about TEN WAYS I USE THIS SOAP IN MY HOME. Woo-hoo!!

Click here to see the 10 ways we’ve used this soap in our home. The great thing about this soap is you can create your own face wash, body wash, hand soap, etc, but just diluting it, putting it in a hand pump by the sink and adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil! So much better for you than the store bought soaps with the fragrance added!

Tell me what is your favorite resource for detoxifying your home?