I have decided not to give our kids presents anymore. My husband and I have long not given presents to each other to save money and to reduce clutter and stress. I have wanted to reduce the quantity of presents on birthdays and Christmas for our children. For years, I said we would downsize Christmas and birthday present piles. Yet, I would weaken and buy stuff anyway. Having four kids is expensive, and it's hard to be fair and equal with different ages and interests. I loathe the expectations and inevitable disappointment. We moved to Germany last summer. We purged and sold loads of stuff Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
Last month my post was all about implementing some changes in how I, as the mom, wife and CEO of this house, approach the holiday season. I wrote out three things that I was setting out to do, or rather, I included things I didn't want to do (such as procrastinate, have too high of expectations on myself, etc.). I wanted to come back for a follow up, because so often one reads about the things a blogger wants to do and is left wondering if those goals were even remotely attainable. My family has been through an emotional change the past couple of weeks. We realized that we needed to re-home Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
The snow is falling as I write; cold winds have stripped away the last remnants of warm weather as autumn slips into winter. I’ve been busy decorating our home in preparation for a wonderful Christmas season. I’m sure you have, too! Like most of you, I want to create lasting and wonderful memories that our family will cherish for many years to come. Some years seem to go more as planned than others! There are times when I look around and realize I am busy creating, cleaning, or cooking, and I'm sitting on the sidelines while what is most necessary is for me to step in center stage. The center Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
Christmas is my very favorite holiday. I love the lights, the gifts, the parties, and most importantly, the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our Savior. With all the shopping and parties, it can be difficult to set aside time to honor Christ at Christmas time. For the last few years we have had an activity-focused Advent calendar. Each day we would discover some fun activity for us to do. Some days it involved blessing someone else, and some days were just fun activities like drinking hot chocolate while watching a Christmas movie. This year, in an effort to honor Christ all month Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
This is a time of year that I love . Thanksgiving has come and we've focused on gratitude; now we're moving ahead to Christmas when we'll focus on Christ's birth. The season is almost electric, yet I find myself feeling overwhelmed each year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's hard to find a happy balance between the family, the shopping, the cleaning, the baking, the work duties, and the extra activities. That's when I turn back to a line from one of my favorite Christmas carols: "Let every heart prepare Him room." I want to look at just a few of the words from that phrase from the Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
It's holiday season . . . which means moms everywhere are experiencing their busiest time of the year. Shopping, baking, decorating, visiting, crafting, cooking, sharing, listening . . . the list goes on. We mothers are in the habit of giving, and more so during the holidays. We are in the giving mood and we give freely of our time, energy, and talents. While giving is good, we also tend to get depleted and exhausted with all the giving. And you reach that point where you feel empty and you have nothing else left to give. That is a sure recipe for disaster, especially since we've got loved Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
Friends, I am so very excited to announce that beginning in January 2015, a new feature will be added to the Managing Your Blessings website: Monthly Scripture Memorization Challenges! As I was praying about the direction the Lord wanted Managing Your Blessings to go in, He made it very clear to me that scripture memorization is of utmost importance this year. I am excited to carry on this vision the Lord has given me and even more excited to interact with you, our magnificent community of Christian women. I invite each of you to join us this upcoming year as we focus on getting the Word of Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
Advent is a celebration that is near and dear to my heart. When I was a little girl my grandma taught me about the Advent celebration. She would sit my brother and me down and read us The Christmas Story (Little Golden Book), The Night Before Christmas, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Classic Seuss). Shortly after she read to us we'd have cookies and milk, and right before bed she would give us our Advent calendar for that year. My precious grandma gave us each a different Advent calendar every year. I always looked forward to this time with my grandma as it was so magical and made me Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
I have the opportunity to serve as a staff member with Operation Christmas Child, and it is truly a blessing. OCC is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse that strives to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world and, together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is an incredible ministry that touches the lives of millions of children every year who have been impacted by war, disease, poverty, and natural disasters. Each year, people all over the US and in several other countries lovingly pack shoe boxes with toys, school Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.
I don't know about you, but this time of year really seems to reveal the striving in me. And when I look around at all the other all-wrung-out mamas who just need to rest and slow down to take in all of God’s grace, it's like I'm starring into a mirror. I get it. I really do. How about you? Do you find yourself striving too, especially around the holidays? In my own life, it’s the day-to-day living that often becomes the catalyst for striving to do more and be better. The everyday chaos of raising and teaching my children while trying to keep up with the laundry and the dishes and trying to Continue Reading...This post may contain affiliate links. See my full disclosure policy.