Tuesday, December 27, 2011

7 Thieves that Rob You of Time


Weekly Contributor, Kim Brenneman

Before exposing the time thieves let’s look at what the scriptures say about time and how we are to use it.

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. ~ Ephesians 5:15&16

We understand God's will for our time when we study the scriptures. It’s certainly not found in this common thought, “I just listened to my heart.” This phrase is often used to explain a questionable decision. What guides every little decision you make from the moment you rise up until the moment you fall asleep?

Jeremiah 17:9 says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and test the mind,to give every man according to his ways,according to the fruit of his deeds.

It is natural but wrong to trust our hearts to lead us in our use of time. And so it takes deliberate thought and effort on our part to seek God’s priorities.


The verses preceding Ephesians 5:15-16 teach us many things about living the Christian life. A short list includes:
  • Be imitators of God
  • Walk in love
  • Be moral
  • Be pure
  • Let there be thanksgiving
  • Do not associate with the sons of disobedience
  • Walk as children of light
  • Discern what is pleasing to the Lord
  • Take no part in and expose unfruitful works of darkness
Another short list from the verses following 15-16:
  • Do not get drunk but be controlled by the Spirit
  • Address one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs
  • Give thanks always and for everything
  • Submit to one another
  • Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
  • Let the wife see that she respects her husband
  • Honor your father and mother
Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 further guide women. The Proverbs 31 lady embodies everything listed above in a practical way. She is strong and dignified, trustworthy and excellent; she’s not idle and laughs at the days to come. In Titus 2 we are specifically instructed:
  • To be reverent in behavior
  • To be not slanderers or slaves to too much wine
  • To teach what is good and so train the young women to love their husbands and children
  • To be self-controlled
  • To be pure
  • To work at home
  • To be kind
  • To be submissive to our husbands
When we don’t keep our priorities in line with scripture we rob God of His best use of time in our lives. Are we running from God’s will? The reason we run from God’s will is the heart (Jeremiah 17:9). We need to put off the old woman and put on the new by the renewing our minds (Ephesians 4:22). We need God to perfect our hearts everyday through prayerful repentance.

In no particular order here is a list of seven thieves that rob us of time.
  1. Television and Books - When I stopped watching daytime television as a young mom, I taped Philippians 4:8 to the front of the idiot box which reads, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

    That verse also led me to avoid certain genres of books. Both television and books can be means of escapism. We don’t need to be caught up in someone else’s imaginary world. God gave us a life to live! What we are to be is controlled by the Holy Spirit. We can relax and have down time without offending Him.
  2. Computer - We need fellowship with other believers but often we exchange relationships with real people in our physical community for relationships with people in a narrow little band of online people that believe every little thing exactly like we do. The Proverbs 31 lady was in her community, her husband was honored at the city gates because of her renown, she extended her hand to the poor, and more.

    Online communities can be a venue of encouragement and relation to others, but spend more time getting to know your neighbors. Be salt and light!

    Computer rabbit trails also steal time from our first priorities. Be careful, be wise, make a plan for the time you spend online and use a timer.
  3. Poor Planning  - Do you wonder what you’re supposed to be doing when you look around at a big mess? Do you drive like crazy and never accomplish anything of real purpose? Do you stare into the cupboard and wonder what you’re supposed to make for supper? You’re wasting time. Plan your work and work your plan. Work on being efficient and you will accomplish so much more.
  4. Health and Sleep - When we don’t take care of our health we get slow and sleepy. When we take care to eat and drink right, take supplements, get exercise and sunshine, we have energy to be our best.

    Women are often sleepy and sluggish when they need to take better care of their health. Rise up and go for a walk! Maybe you need to walk on over to the doctor to have a chat about it, or to the health food store for B vitamins, or to the pantry to throw out all the junk. Get healthy!
  5. Over Committed - Are you over committed? Start prioritizing and making your allotted hours in the week fit God’s top priorities. Who or what is getting the best of your time? When we try to do everything we do nothing well. Focus on your first priorities and then carefully, thoughtfully, and prayerfully refine them before adding to them.
  6. Telephone, Email, IM and Gadding About - We women like to talk and oftentimes this gets us into trouble. The Bible warns against the misuse of our tongue in 1 Timothy 5:13, "And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not."

    It’s an old, old problem. Don’t be an idler, gossip, or busybody going about from house to house via the telephone, email, IM, or visiting. Save your talk time and be meaningful with it. There is no need to say the same thing five different ways in your conversation. In doing these things you are stealing your own time, God’s time, and the correspondent’s time. Give thought to your words.
  7. Disobedient Children - Disobedient children take your time through cleaning their messes, repairing their destruction, threatening and repeating, arguing with them, and mental anguish. Unruly children are not enjoyable. They will rob you not only of time but also relationships. Your friends may avoid your family because of your children. Babysitters don’t want to have to deal with them.

    Do something about it. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Pray for wisdom. Enforce consequences and make the consequences mean something. Spend time with them teaching them respectful behavior. It takes time and deliberate thought and action on your part to teach them obedience and manners.
Blessings,

Kim Brenneman


Kim is the joyful wife of Matt and the blessed mother of nine children.

When not busy homeschooling and farmschooling, she enjoys writing, gardening, cooking, reading, sewing, and crafting.

Kim lives on a farm in Iowa where her family grows beef cattle, corn and beans, and operates a micro-dairy selling cheese at farmer’s markets. She loves to write and speak about her passion for home and family. She is the author of Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family. She blogs about the same subject at:
http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.com.





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Monday, December 26, 2011

Choose Joy! And a Titus 2sday Link Up!





Choosing joy is an essential part of growing a healthy family, and an attitude of gratitude is vital in the cultivation of marriage.

But it wasn’t until recent years that I realized just how important our happiness is to my husband and why. He delights in the joy of his family because he sees our gratitude as a reflection of his gift to us. If we’re on vacation and everyone is having a great time, as our provider, he gains a sense of accomplishment. If we’re at the beach and the kids are laughing and splashing away in the water I can tell that my husband is exactly where he wants to be. One look at his smile confirms I am right.

I also know that he loves watching our children open birthday and Christmas gifts, just to see the excitement rise in their face. He delights in their joy.

Read the rest of the article over at The Better Mom where I'm guest posting today:







You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

Find Time-Warp Wife on facebook: Click here

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Today and every Tuesday, I want to invite bloggers to link-up any blog posts that will encourage women to joyfully live out their roles as wives and keepers of their homes I'm looking for posts on marriage, parenting, housekeeping, or recipes.

1. Enter the direct link from your post into the linky tool below!

2. Please link back here with the {TITUS 2}SDAYS code (below) so that other bloggers can join in too!

3. Enjoy each other's fellowship, and have fun!

FAQ:
Can I use an old post, or do I need to use a current one?
You can absolutely use an older post if you feel that the post is a great fit for this meme. Have fun!

Friday, December 23, 2011

My Prayer for All Readers


My Christmas prayer today is that all readers would experience the gift of Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. 

If you are seeking a relationship with the Lord and have any questions please feel free to send me a letter anytime and I will be happy to pray with you. 

I'd also like to offer you this link that explains our need for salvation and God's gift to the world, His son Jesus Christ: Steps to Peace with God.

Enjoy the weekend my friends!

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Proverbs 31 eBook


Women Living Well has just finished her new ebook,
The Proverbs 31 Woman: One Virtue at a Time. 

Aside from the encouraging content, I'll tell you what I absolutely LOVE about this ebook--it's free! In fact it's built into the Women Living Well facebook page!! How cool is that? I know!

To get a free copy, all you have to do is "like" WLW on facebook, and you have the choice of reading the book there, or saving it to your computer.

P.S. Look for the "Free Ebook" link in the left-hand sidebar of Courtney's facebook page.

Finally here's a quick look at the table of contents: 

Is the Proverbs 31 Woman For Real?
How to be Treasure to Your Husband
Does Your Husband Trust You?
A Woman of Action
Working With Eager Hands
Shop to the Glory of God
The Proverbs 31 Woman Rises Very Early
Do You Have a Dream?
Vigorously Clean Your Home & Get a Bonus Workout
Burning the Midnight Oil
Mundane Tasks Are a Hidden Treasure
P.S. Your Hands Are Beautiful
Are You Prepared for the Weather Changes?
The Proverbs 31 Woman is Classy
Help Your Husband be a Man of Influence
Pursuing Excellence
Let Me Help You Pick Out Your Clothes
Putting Order on Your Tongue
Managing Our Time, Family and Home
What Do Your Children Think of You?
Be the Woman Your Man Needs
The Proverbs 31 Woman's Beauty Secret
Pity or Praise the Proverbs 31 Woman?

Enjoy!

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Week-by-Week Plan to Managing Your Children's Bedrooms


Children hate overwhelming messes just as much as we do. And like us, they can pretend not to see it for a long time. When parents can’t stand the sight anymore it often turns into a big teary event with impatient words, threats, and a big box for the junk/treasures.

Let’s stop this nonsense cycle, because it is not glorifying to God. Children need to learn to clean and care for their belongings. We, as the parents, are responsible for teaching them biblical stewardship principles. Children aren’t born knowing organizational and management skills. Well, most of them aren’t. I did hear once of a little boy that was very careful about every little thing in his room down to lining up his shoes a certain way.

Out of nine children so far, I have some that have tendencies towards being more organized than others. None, however, knew how to pick up their toys, books, clothes, shoes, and all their other little things without somebody teaching them. Yes, they can get something out and they should be able to put it away but they were born with a sin nature which causes them to choose the lazy way of leaving something lie at the location that they were done with it.

Sounds like me. I fight it in myself everyday. Self-discipline, the skill that a child needs in order to return a toy, keep his room clean, and brush his teeth every morning, is something that we as parents need to teach them. It is a painful and long process--well, I think it is anyway. But the rewards are worth the work.

The children and I like to see a clean bedroom. We admire it, and pat each other on the back. We talk about working as unto the Lord and how much He wants us to be good stewards of His gifts. Instead of the painful pick-up of a pig-sty we are learning how to be better stewards.

Now, let’s not make any excuses and get started!

"Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling,
but a foolish man devours it." ~ Proverbs 21:20


There are two things that make bedroom cleaning easier to keep up with. One is to have a regular daily routine. When the children are used to doing the same thing at the same time day in and day out it becomes a habit. The longer they do that one thing, the more ingrained it becomes. Think of meal-time routines. Usually we eat at the same time--following the same patterns every day. That is why it is easier to build new habits or scheduled items around mealtimes. Routines are not a bad thing. I know that there is an impulsive anti-routine crowd out there, let me advise of you of one thing. Your children will be happier and more secure with a routine. This does not mean that you can’t occasionally break from it and do go on some exciting adventure, it simply means that an ordinary day will go more smoothly for everyone if a routine is followed. Give it a try for awhile and see if I’m not right.

The other thing that makes bedroom cleaning easier to keep up with is "know what to do and how to do it." When the little children change their clothes be there with them (or a big kid) and teach them to put their dirty clothes in the basket.

If they drop it on the floor, stop them and say, “Where do your dirty clothes go?” and say it with them, “The dirty clothes go in the basket.”

The bed need to be made every day of course. Doing this one thing makes the bedroom appear neat and clean simply because the beds are the largest objects in the room. Point this out to your children and when doing a room, clean-up make the beds first. It bolsters the spirits to see a neatly made bed at the start of recovering a disastrous room. To get your children to make their beds every day will require diligence on your part to check up on them, and of course it will add to their chore charts. Teach them how to do it properly but also do the next step of checking up on them.

"Know well the condition of your flocks,
and give attention to your herds…" - Proverbs 27:23


Self-discipline on your part will translate to self-discipline on theirs. I know it’s hard and there are a hundred other things that you would rather do, but do you really want to be raising slobs? Teach them when they’re young and it will be easier as they get older and they will in turn teach the younger children. When they are grown and have a neat and tidy house, they will thank you for teaching them these little basic skills.

While you are teaching them and checking on them, be joyful, sing, and talk to your children with a smile in your voice. A cheerful heart is good medicine but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Do not dry up the bones of your children. Train yourself to wake up with joy and spread that joy to your children as you help them and check on their bedroom chores every morning.

Morning bedroom chores should be done in 5 minutes or less and kept simple for example, make the bed and put clothes in proper place and shut doors and drawers. You should be doing the same in your bedroom. If you have lots of little children and no big kids to help train, then do each bedroom as a group teaching as you go.

When tackling a big disaster you really need to do it with the children as a team. While you work, talk conversationally--not lecture style about why we clean, how we clean, how we keep it clean, and so on. The littlest children need you to get down with them, on their level and pick up toys with them. Make it a fun game. Pick it up by type of item such as picking up the dolls first. If you can, try to keep toys out of the bedrooms except for one or two favorites.

Keeping all the toys in one area of the house makes the pick-up more efficient and when the children have no reason to play in their bedrooms the bedrooms stay neater. Look at the bedroom from the children’s perspective and talk to them about what is needed to make it more neat and organized.

Your children need to learn how to organize, how to work efficiently, and how to stick to a task. You will probably have to do this work with them for awhile until they have learned how. After you feel they have successfully learned how to do the work, you will then need to inspect it after they are done and hold them accountable. If they see you doing these same tasks in your bedroom while they are working, they will work more willingly. They hate to feel that they are missing out on anything fun that might be going on elsewhere in the house.

"Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy." ~ 1 Corinthians 4:2

To prevent big bedroom disasters from happening and to keep the bedrooms thoroughly clean, work through the weekly focus areas listed below. You can do the work whenever it suits your family; we do them during "Afternoon Chore Time." Work hard for 15 minutes. Take a break if it’s not done, then work for another 15 minutes.

Teach the children to complete the job and not leave it half-way. Some of these chores won’t take that long at all, and all of them-if consistently done-will be easy. It’s when dirt and debris is allowed to pile up that a job turns awful. Once again, if you have only little children then do each room as a team. If you have older children that are able to work independently then be sure to encourage and inspect their work while you work on your bedroom or help the little children.

Shared bedrooms should be done as a team by the occupants. You might want to further break down bedroom chores and assign them for children who share rooms.

Write down the following bedroom chores on a paper, slide it into a page protector, and hang it on a door or someplace in the room. Place a copy on the refrigerator or wherever you hang your other chore charts so that you can advise the children from “grand central station.”


Managing Bedrooms Week-By-Week

  • Week 1 - Have the children straighten and de-clutter the tops of their desks, dressers, tables, window sills or any other flat surfaces in their bedrooms. Assign one surface per day, or assign a time period per day, or assign a day of the week to spend some time on this area of their bedroom.
  • Week 2 - This week have the children clean under the beds. After shoveling it all out (the fun part) they might be overwhelmed. Give them a trash bag for the trash, and then put all books away. Next, all stuffed animals, and the rest of the toys to their proper place. Finally, put away whatever else is left. Hopefully, there are no rotten apple cores. Like everything else, if this is done on a regular basis, it never gets that bad. But left for 6 months, the under-bed clean out can be quite a trial.
  • Week 3 - This week is for the children to straighten their closets. Have them get in the corners, nooks, and crannies, and dig all the things out that they might have tossed in and forgotten about. After digging out, they must put things in their proper place. Put the clothes on the shelves or hang up. If they are old enough to sort out the torn, stained, too small, unworn clothes have them do so and put into the trash or a give-away box. Doing this regularly is essential for clothing and closet control.
  • Week 4 - This week, the children de-clutter, straighten, and thoroughly dust the shelves in their rooms.
  • Week 5 - This week have the children clean windows and curtains, as needed and if able to; walls-de-clutter and catch cobwebs; wipe grime from light switches; lights-dust and change bulbs if able to; door-dust top, wipe grime from door and door knob.

By teaching your children to do a 5-minute-bedroom-clean-up routine every morning and a focus area every week, you will help your children learn to be organized and self-disciplined. It’s not easy to teach your children these things but you are helping them learn biblical character traits.

While working with your children you are also building relationships with them and teaching your children how God wants us to work.
"Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys." ~ Proverbs 18:9
Blessings,

Kim Brenneman


Kim is the joyful wife of Matt and the blessed mother of nine children.

When not busy homeschooling and farmschooling, she enjoys writing, gardening, cooking, reading, sewing, and crafting.

Kim lives on a farm in Iowa where her family grows beef cattle, corn and beans, and operates a micro-dairy selling cheese at farmer’s markets. She loves to write and speak about her passion for home and family. She is the author of Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family. She blogs about the same subject at:
http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.com.






If you'd like to leave a comment, visit Time-Warp Wife on facebook: Click here

And you can also find Kim on facebook too: Large Family Logistics

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Think on These Things...


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.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Monday, December 19, 2011

"You Complete Me" and Other Ridiculous Notions ~ And a Titus 2sday Link up!!


It was 1996. Jerry Maguire looked across the room at Dorothy Boyd, and with tear-stained cheeks he gave her his heart along with three little words, "You complete me."

I'm a hopeless romantic, and yet I have to tell you that this moment in chick-flick history was about as cheesy as a two-topping pizza. But cheesy or not it's one of those famous lines that won't soon be forgotten.

All kidding aside, let's take a look at the idea of completeness and how it relates to our marriage. The notion here is that you are two pieces of a puzzle that come together to make one whole.

That forms a pretty picture and a great analogy, but the reality is that Jesus Christ completes me, all else is grace.

For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. ~ Romans 11:36

Women bring a lot more to their marriage when they lack nothing but a desire for more of God, which reminds me of the quote by Max Lucado, "A woman's heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him just to find her." But of course as long as we're in the flesh we will never reach that place of complete perfection. We'll slip and we'll fall and we'll miss the mark from time to time, but it's certainly something we should press toward as we're learning to lean on God.

The testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. ~ James 1:3-4, NIV

See that? I don't see a man or a woman anywhere in that equation. What I see instead is ones commitment to living by faith.

The minute that we take our eyes off of God and put them onto this world we begin to lust after things that rust, and break, and fade away rather looking to God as our source of contentment. That's when we say ridiculous things like:
  • You complete me
  • I have to have it
  • I'll die without it
  • If it feels good, do it!
  • Follow your heart.
Love this quote from John Piper, in fact I shared it the other day: "The deepest root of Christian womanhood is hope in God. She doesn't put her hope in her husband or in getting one, and she doesn't put her hope in her looks."

As a child I put my hope in my father. He was an amazing Dad who supplied everything his wife and six daughters needed. There was never a day I went hungry and there was rarely a day he didn't make me smile. He was everything to me.

I loved that man so much and always will. But in 1976 Mom and Dad led our family toward something better than they could ever supply on their own--faith in God through His Son, Jesus Christ. There isn't a gift under the sun that is greater than that, in fact it's that gift that carried me through his recent sickness and death as I sang, "What a day that will be..."

I love my dad with all my heart, but the bottom line is that Jesus completes me, all else is grace. (Dad would love to hear me say that, and would add a big, "Amen!")

I had the pleasure of meeting Aaron Shust in October when I was in Pennsylvania, and his music is incredible! I'm posting a video below of Aaron performing "My Hope Is In You." I think the song and the story go so well with this message of hope.

Love the couple in this video--THAT'S what I call romance!









You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

For comments or questions, contact me at:
darlene[at]darleneschacht.net

Find Time-Warp Wife on facebook: Click here

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And before you go--I'm posting over  at Roo Mag today sharing an article called, "Chore Time - 5 Ways to Motivate Children." Hop on over and say hello!!

If your children are dreading chore time. If they’re dragging their feet more than the broom. Or, if the pitter-patter of little feet is the sound of a child fleeing the scene, then this list is for you...




In participation with:

    Growing Home    This Gal's Journey


Today and every Tuesday, I want to invite bloggers to link-up any blog posts that will encourage women to joyfully live out their roles as wives and keepers of their homes I'm looking for posts on marriage, parenting, housekeeping, or recipes.

1. Enter the direct link from your post into the linky tool below!

2. Please link back here with the {TITUS 2}SDAYS code (below) so that other bloggers can join in too!

3. Enjoy each other's fellowship, and have fun!

FAQ:
Can I use an old post, or do I need to use a current one?
You can absolutely use an older post if you feel that the post is a great fit for this meme. Have fun!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shoe Organizers – 9 Ways to Use Them!

Image from bhg.com
My daughter Madison has developed a keen interest in sewing, and since two of my sisters are passionate about the art of quilting, her interest has been fueled all the more.

We bought Maddy a sewing machine for Christmas last year and set up an area in her bedroom where she can develop the craft. I can’t count the many times I’ve since passed her open door to witness the humming of the machine steady at work.


A while back we decided to take a trip to my sister Bonnie’s house to check out her sewing space (see Bonnie's craft room). In addition to the 15’ free arm sewing machine she has tucked away in her basement, Bonnie has a room on the main floor that is every sewer’s dream (except my sister Kathy who has two rooms of her own).

The room is well organized with baskets, shelving, and drawers, but our personal favorites— for both Maddy and I—were the shoe organizers that Bonnie so cleverly used.

Since then, Maddy and I have been dreaming of picking up a few shoe organizers of our own. We’ve also started noticing different ways that other people are using them to organize their home.We even spot them on TV here and there, being used in some of the cutest and clever ways.

We were able to find the cloth ones at Walmart, but have yet to find the wooden ones, which I’m leaning toward. But just last night we were told that Rona carries them here in Canada so we’re planning on picking some up within the next week or two.

In the meantime–while I’m still dreaming about where mine will be placed–I’d like to share a few of the ways they can be used to organize your home:

  1. Put one on top of a table to organize sewing supplies like scissors, pin cushions, measuring tapes, and thread.
  2. Put one on top of a desk to organize office supplies. It’s a great place to keep things within reach, but off of your desk like a stapler, three-hole punch, calculators, address books, post-it notes, and check books.
  3. Stack a couple on top of each other in your mud room and assign each family member a vertical row of cubes, where they can store their mittens, hats, purses (that fit), school notes, and shoes. Assigning vertical rows gives everyone the opportunity to store their shoes on the bottom.
  4. Use a cloth version of the hanging shoe organizer on the back of a bathroom door. Rather than putting shoes in, you can store items like hair spray, shaving cream, hair brushes, shampoo, and conditioner, straightening irons, curling irons, and hair dryers.
  5. Also use one on the back of a door for hanging stuffed toys, as seen below. So cute!
  6. Use them in the workshop to organize tools, putting items that can’t hang on hooks like screw drivers, wire bundles, staple guns, levels, etc.
  7. Use shoe organizers in a craft room to store scissors, hot glue guns, pipe cleaners, button jars, paper glue, crayon boxes, and paint supplies.
  8. Use them in a family room to store CDs, DVDs, and small ornaments.
  9. Last but not least, use them for shoes! We can put them in our closets to keep pairs together, or hang the cloth organizers on the back door of a mudroom to keep shoes off the floor.
Here are just a few of the beautiful and fun ways they are used!!

Used up on the wall to hold ornaments and books

On the back of a door for toys. Image from Parents.com

To store crafts and sewing notions. Image from bgh.com
Have fun organizing your home, ladies! And remember–housework is far more than a chore, it’s an opportunity for us to joyfully serve our family as unto the Lord!
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. ~ Colossians 3:23-24, NIV
Drawn from my archives

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

eBook Free to Subscribers!!


Book Description

Messy Faces in Divine Places
is a collection of stories that are written both to humor and to inspire moms who are seeking daily devotion with God. Its tongue-and-cheek humor is a lighthearted look at parenting that urges us to wade through the toys in search of the joy that comes with being a mom and a child of God.

This compilation of 28 short stories were written and collected several years ago by a mom of four busy young children doing her best to lead them toward a deeper walk of faith.

eBook: 172 Pages
This book is currently available in a PDF version only


About the author

Darlene Schacht is an ordinary mom, living an extraordinary life, because of who she is through Jesus Christ. As help-meet to her husband Michael, she guides and nurtures their four children, leading them toward a deeper walk of faith.

Her work has been published in anthologies by Thomas Nelson, Tyndale Publishing and Adams Media. As well she has co-authored a book with actress Candace Cameron Bure called, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness.

Reviews

W. Terry Whalin
"Publisher/ Editor / Writer" (Scottsdale, Arizona)


Let's face it: finding time to read anything for the mother of small children is a challenge. Mother of four, Darlene Schacht, rises to the challenge with this well-done series of stories about her adventures as a mother.

But they are more than "nice stories." Yes, the stories are well-told and funny. At other times the stories are touching and thought-provoking. Each one is focused with a key thought to lead you toward a deeper relationship with God.

This book makes an ideal gift for any mom with a busy family life.

Heather Ivester (Georgia)

I love reading books that invite me along an author's faith journey. Darlene Schacht shares how being a mom has helped transform her into a woman who seeks after God's heart.

The founder and editor of Christian Women Online ezine, Darlene is a seasoned writer with a gift for finding humor in the most humble of places -- giving readers a wealth of delightful stories.

As a mom, I could relate to so many of Darlene's funny experiences -- like the time she and her husband dressed up like Fonz and his 50s girlfriend and showed up for her son's kindergarten party. Oops! Too late, Darlene discovered the party was only for the students, not the parents!

From this experience, Darlene wrote, "If I had just read the note home from the teacher I would have known ... I recognized the importance of reading God's little notes to us, so that each day, I will know the direction that He wants me to go in."

The book contains 28 poignant stories of life in the Schacht home. Darlene's childhood as one of six girls in her family gives her plenty of hilarious writing material, not to mention her current role as the mother of four.

With titles such as "Flushing Nemo," "Lazarus and the Chicken Dance," and "Poopsi Woopsi Love Candy," this book is an encouragement to moms everywhere that family life -- though messy at times -- is an opportunity for us to bring little souls into God's kingdom ... one day at a time.

Want a free copy? Follow these three easy steps:

  1. Subscribe to Time-Warp Wife: Subscribe to Time-Warp Wife
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  3. Find a link to the free download next time you receive Time-Warp Wife's newsletter, (this will likely be the next morning.) You will find a link to the ebook in the bottom section of your email.
If you've already subscribed and confirmed your subscription, then all you have to do is look for the link in your email. Enjoy!!


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Another Christmas, Another Year Of Getting Past Infidelity

Here I am, another year of being without my ex.....which means another holiday NOT having to worry about whether he is with his other woman or where he is. Christmas is and has always been a very special holiday for me. I love the traditions and the feel in the air of everyone being nice to each other, doing good deeds for those who are less fortunate and the joy of having family together....it's always been very important to me. When I was with my ex, he didn't seem to want to spend time with family, at least not during the many years that he was cheating on me. He always had other things to do, and of course, I didn't know it at the time, but he was busy with his other women...yes, there were more than one. How did he keep up with more than one, and a wife?  Who knows. But this year, he is spending time with one of his other women because he is now moved in with her. I hope that he is happy, because I AM !  I no longer have to worry about sharing him with another woman. I no longer have to be sad that he has other things to do when I am wanting to do family things during the holidays. I no longer have to wonder how much he spent on "her"..... I am very lucky to have found myself again and can actually spend this Christmas with MY family and enjoy every minute of it.

John Piper - Christian Womanhood

Email subscribers, click here to view it on the website.

I love this video by John Piper. It reminds me of what Biblical womanhood is really about, which is possessing a deep-rooted faith in God. 

Listening to the video, I wrote down a few of the key points that he shares along with the scripture to meditate on. The video is only four and a half minutes long--enjoy!
  • The deepest root of Christian womanhood is hope in God. She doesn't put her hope in her husband or in getting one, and she doesn't put her hope in her looks.
  • This hope in God yields fearlessness. "You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear." ~ 1 Peter 3:6, NIV.
  • He is sovereign over everything. Your knowledge and understanding of this is what drives out your fear as you rest in Him.
  • A certain kind of tree grows up from this massive deep root of hope in God, and it yields fearlessness in the face of suffering. "Therefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator." ~ 1 Peter 4:19, KJV.


You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Passionate Parenting at the Feet of Our Lord

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. ~ John 13:34-35

Our families are the first formative relationships for our children. How we react to them as needy babies, teach them to share and cooperate as siblings, express mercy and grace when they are naughty, and express unconditional love are all guided by our understanding of who we are as followers of Jesus. Love, as Jesus taught, is our guide. Loving others is God’s working through us.

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. ~ Matthew 7:12

How does this translate into our family life? First, get down on the level of little children and look into their eyes with love. This takes time. Not much but when you’re busy getting a meal ready or running to switch laundry loads you have to STOP and look into the eyes of the child who needs your attention. Do you have one that is extra naughty? Then that one needs more one-on-one guidance. If that guidance is to be effective then it must be done in love, relationally, eye-to-eye.

The eye that you give your children must not be a condescending eye, a haughty eye, an eye of embarrassment, a rolling eye, a continually disappointed and disapproving eye, but an eye of love. How do you expect that Jesus looked at the children He ministered to? How do you expect Jesus looks at you? Love and compassion are how we minister to our children and that comes through not only our serving hands but when we look at our children. The words that come out of our mouths must match the eyes that our children are looking at. When we truly see them as tender souls that need Jesus, just as much as we need Jesus, then they are feeling not just the love of a mother but the love of Jesus.

But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. ~ Mark 10:14

In order for us to consistently and persistently mother our children through the power of Jesus we need to sit at His feet. Read your Bible and study Him. The days are busy, I know, so read your children the gospels. Read a little bit every day and learn to know Him with them. There is more to Jesus than His birth and His death and resurrection. He is the source of wisdom. He is the source of love. By reading the stories of Jesus to your children, you will all learn together how to be like Jesus. You will learn how to love each other. You will practice together being like Jesus, looking at each other through the eyes of Jesus.
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her." ~ Luke 10:38-42

The dishes and laundry aren’t going anywhere. The children will always need another bath, a haircut, nails trimmed. The math, science, and spelling will educate them, surely. But what will it all matter if they don’t know Jesus beyond His birth and death and resurrection?

When they are questioned someday, “Why is Christianity the only valid religion?” “Aren’t there many ways to reach God?” Will your children really know Jesus? Or will He seem to them as a great prophet among other great prophets? Spend the time you have with your children at the feet of Jesus and then talk about Him as you go about your daily work.

When our children are at the feet of Jesus with us, they will learn, they will grow in their faith, and they will see the reality of a living God. They will learn to know the only true God. They will learn that God cares about the intimate details of our lives; that God teaches us to see others as He does; that God loves us and others unconditionally. Our children will grow up under the love, mercy, and grace of sinful parents who are sitting at the feet of Jesus with them.


Blessings,

Kim Brenneman


Kim is the joyful wife of Matt and the blessed mother of nine children.

When not busy homeschooling and farmschooling, she enjoys writing, gardening, cooking, reading, sewing, and crafting.

Kim lives on a farm in Iowa where her family grows beef cattle, corn and beans, and operates a micro-dairy selling cheese at farmer’s markets. She loves to write and speak about her passion for home and family. She is the author of Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family. She blogs about the same subject at:
http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.com.






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Linking up with: The Gentleness Challenge

Monday, December 12, 2011

191 Free Apron Patterns!! And a Titus 2sday Linkup!



Note: Unfortunately I don't have the patterns or the links
to patterns for the images used. 

Have I ever mentioned how much I love aprons? A lot! They were on the top of my Christmas list, and this past Saturday I got one from my mother-in-law. I love that such a practical item doubles to give you a feminine look, don't you? It's awesome!

Now, is it my imagination or have apron designs improved over the past few years? Everywhere I look from the internet to the mall, I'm seeing the most adorable styles. Aprons are looking more like dresses than they ever did before.

Because I'm a huge apron fanatic, I started collecting links to some of my favorite aprons that I'd love to share with you today! And that's not all... I'm also including a list to websites that offer patterns and links to 191 free apron patterns in total!! (Find apron patterns listed at the bottom of this post).


Now without further ado, here are a few of my favorite aprons:
Mixed Fabrics Apron
from CountryLiving.com
Dress up Jeans with a Ruffle Apron
Free apron pattern available at: One More Moore
Houndstooth Doris Apron
from Jesse Steele
Jesse Steele Apron
from LaylaGrayce.com

"Kiss the Cook" Apron 
from FlirtyAprons.com
Jessie Steele Apron 
from LaylaGrace.com

Who could ever forget the classic skirt apron? Not me!
from A Bee in My Bonnet

Candace Cameron Bure in a Vintage Hostess Apron 
from SugarBaby.com
And finally, last but certainly not least... here is a list of websites that offer you how-tos and links to tons of FREE apron patterns! Exciting--I know!!

Hoping that they don't duplicate each other, since there's always a chance of that happening, but hey--there are 191 of them listed, and they're all free!

191 Free Apron Patterns:

     (list on the left column of their website includes patterns)

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene


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I Believe in Christ


You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Purpose



You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

10 Festive Drinks For You & Yours This Holiday Season



Photo used under Creative Commons from izik
By Nigel Lawson

Well, my last blog was all about holiday treats and bonding with the kids.  This post is strictly for adults only.  Okay, at least the first part is.  I never like to leave the kiddies out, so I have something special for them too.

Is your Ex acting like a jerk right before the holidays?  Are the kids driving you up the wall? Will you be able to get your family members exactly what they want this holiday season?  Well, you can forget about all that for now.  If the "Seasonal  Insanity" seems a bit overwhelming, take a Jingle Bell Break and sample one of these festive holiday libations (provided by Whattodrink.Com).  These are just a few of the Holiday Cocktails listed on their website. 

And, don’t worry.  If you’re not big on alcohol, I have a special list of fun non-alcoholic drinks you and the kids can share during the holidays (provided by Family.Com).

For Adults Only (Alcoholic Drinks)  
  1.  St. Nick’s Naughty or Nice Punch
  2. Sassy Little Elf
  3. Candy Cane Swirl
  4. Homemade Eggnog
  5. New Year's Sparkler
  6. Midnight Kick

For Kids & Adults (Non-Alcoholic Drinks)

     7. White Christmas Hot Chocolate
     8. Quick Party Eggnog
     9. Cranberry-Apple Wassail
   10. Cold Chocolate Peppermint


Whether sampling one of the potent potables, or imbibing one of the calorie crammed kids’ drinks, moderation is always key.  Never drink and drive, or have a cup White Christmas Hot Chocolate and fall asleep on the couch.  Both are hazardous to your health.  Stay safe, and have a joyous holiday season. 

Best Wishes,

The Divorced Dudes Club

P.S.  Hug your children, and tell them you love them.

Friday, December 9, 2011

I'd Rather Have a Proverbs 31 Woman Than a Victoria's Secret Model

Alex Eklund, a student at Baylor University, posted a status on Facebook stating, "I'd rather have a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria's Secret Model." Since then, other Baylor students and their friends have reposted, made graphics, and even a page has been made for it all because of the positive reaction it received from the people that saw it. Here are Alex's thoughts on the movement's beginning as well as some of his goals for the movement and what he believes the message means to so many people.



I LOVE this, don't you?! You can find Aaron's page on facebook here!

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Daily Planner Printables!!



I have created some daily printables that you can print off and use. (I'm starting mine today!) Each one has the monthly calendar at a glance, and the following sections to write in:

  • To Do's - Things you need to do today
  • Hope To Do's - Additional things you'd like to do if time permits
  • Prayer Requests 
  • Reminders 
  • Bible Reading - What you plan to read in the Bible or a verse that comes to mind
  • Groceries
  • Thinking Ahead - Goals or future commitments
  • People to Call

And if you haven't checked it out yet, take a look at my weekly housekeeping schedule. It's a great way to get the house clean and keep it looking that way!

If you would like to view or download the printables for December and January,
just click the links below the image. (Originals are full-sized pages)




If you are an email subscriber, and have trouble viewing the links, click through to the website at: Time-Warp Wife.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Having Good Credit

One thing for certain,  if you are thinking about getting out of a relationship due to your partner's infidelity, is that you have good credit.  Having good credit  is something that is a must in today's world. I knew when I left, that my credit needed to be in good shape,  so I checked out my   credit report, just to be sure.  My ex-husband's credit was not in as good a shape as mine was, but he was working on trying to get it in  better standing. When I checked my report, I found a few things that I didn't know was there, but after being able to see what was in there,  I was able to call and get a few things taken care of.
Did you know that there are actually 3 different credit ratings that creditors check to see what your rating is when you apply for credit, like, for instance to buy a car? At first, I thought there was only one, but found out differently. You are also able to get those credit reports for free, one time a year. Getting your free credit score is pretty easy, actually. It is in your best interest to know what's on your score. Being able to dispute something that's wrong or correct an address or name spelling is pretty easy to do, but you have to have the report first. Take care of your credit also means taking care of you and your future.

Holidays And Living With Infidelity

How does a person who's going through infidelity and all it's pain get through the holidays?  I know how hard it is because I have been there.  For the many years that I went through holidays, pretending to be happy when I knew things weren't  good. I had children so I had to make the best of everything but my last holiday with my ex was when I started to finally see that he wasn't trying to make things work. He wanted me to sweep it all under the rug and just get over it...Nevermind that my feelings were hurt. I decided that I didn't want to be miserable any longer. I did what was best at that time, and I played nice....however, once the holidays were done, and I saw no improvement from him, I knew that I was the only one trying to work the relationship out and after much thought and talking to a friend of mine, who just so happened to be a pastor, I felt it was time for me to move on....and as much as I didn't want to leave my comfort zone, I did just that....after the holidays were over. I found myself finally able to face the fact that nothing was changing and they weren't going to. Years and years of having to deal with his infidelity, his harsh words towards me, his treating me like I was a nobody was going to come to an end.  I got brave enough to walk out.....of course, I was working and able to stand on my own....I knew it was the right thing to do at the time.  For anyone who's wondering what to do about infidelity, you must first look inside yourself and decide if you are willing to try again, or if you are just tired of it and ready to start on your own...no one can tell you when that time is, or if it's the right thing to do.....you are the only one who can make that decision. I tried for years to make things better and they just never got any better. Once the holidays were over, I made that decision. Think carefully before you make a decision. If you have to sit on your decision for a short while, then do so. Just take your time deciding because it's you that has to live with  what decision you've made.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reverence ~ Ephesians 5:33





You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Create Family Traditions



Memories (not all of them but some of them) should be
planned with the same careful kind of planning one would
give to planning a museum. A family life in retrospect should
be a museum of diverse and greatly varied memories, with
a unity that makes the grouping of people involved share
at least many if not all of the overlapping memories.

~Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family?

By Weekly Contributor, Kim Brenneman, Large Family Logistics

Think back to your childhood home and family. Likely you have memories of daily rituals of food, smells, and sights. Did your family have a daily prayer time? Additionally, there are seasonal memories like raking leaves, smells of fall, apples, and pumpkins; sledding and hot chocolate; Christmas albums played in your home; the smell of tilling the garden and planting seeds or flowers; summer ball games, hot humid air, swimming, popsicles. Memories are connected with our senses. We know what the air felt like, the smells, the tastes of certain foods and when these things are connected with good and happy experiences they are a powerful comfort when we get the slightest experience of them again. A certain scent or feel in the air can bring a surge of memories from the past.

Memories of traditions are part of who we are as people. When a time of day comes around, a season or a holiday we have expectations for good things to happen. We want to relive a time in life. A deep part of us remembers something that fills us with love and hope. As mothers we have the power to create experiences that impact our families for their good. What will they remember every Christmas for their whole life?


As Christians we are mandated to teach our children the Shema from Deuteronomy 6, “The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Our traditions should point our children to that truth.

That can be done easily through an attitude of prayerful thankfulness that comes out of our mouth all the time. “Isn’t God good to us? He has given us _________.” That truth can be expressed in our daily routines when we put oatmeal on the table with honey and raisins and it can be expressed on Independence Day when we stand for the flag during the  town parade.


God marked the Hebrew calendar with feasts and celebrations to bring the focus to Him and the great things He has done. He gave us six days of work and a day of rest, set apart for Him. He is a God of order and a God of remembrance and festivals. The greatest event of all time happened when God sent us Jesus as a baby, to grow up as man, who lived a perfect life, suffered and died on the cross for our sins, rose again conquering death so that we may live with Him forever. We may not know when He was exactly born. We might not have done as the church fathers of the past did by replacing a pagan celebration with a holy day. But God is sovereign. He has a plan. Today we live in a culture that does not worship the idols of the past but is consumed with commercialism, materialism, selfishness.  We must keep our families and our feasts and celebrations centered on Christ.

How do we do this? We moms are busy enough with managing schedules, laundry, dishes, cleaning, and the rest. Add in a holiday and we are tipping towards chaos. I don’t think that God meant for feasts and celebrations to bring on burnout. Let’s first fix ourselves by taking our eyes off of the work and putting it onto Christ. Make Him your partner and talk to Jesus about your plans and your work all the day long.

As you create the traditions of your days and seasons and holidays with their scents, sights, tastes, and experiences of love and goodness keep them Jesus-centered. Remind your children of the good things that God has done for us, for you, for your family. Tell your children why we do certain things. Big speeches are not necessary, although sometimes a presentation is appropriate, but talk to your children in your everyday conversations as you work, bringing up the whys and hows of your family’s actions.

Someday our children will be grown, creating their own homes and family traditions. They will have memories of their childhood that will be warm and comforting, and if we have done our job right they will know why we celebrate and do the things we do. A valid tradition is one in which our children will in turn teach their children, The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Blessings,

Kim Brenneman


Kim is the joyful wife of Matt and the blessed mother of nine children.

When not busy homeschooling and farmschooling, she enjoys writing, gardening, cooking, reading, sewing, and crafting.

Kim lives on a farm in Iowa where her family grows beef cattle, corn and beans, and operates a micro-dairy selling cheese at farmer’s markets. She loves to write and speak about her passion for home and family. She is the author of Large Family Logistics: The Art and Science of Managing the Large Family. She blogs about the same subject at:
http://largefamilylogistics.blogspot.com.






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