You Need To Check This Blog Out

http://yourlifespelledout.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Unfailing Love

by Max Lucado

“Love,” Paul says, “never fails” (1 Cor. 13:8 NIV).

The verb Paul uses for the word fail is used elsewhere to describe the demise of a flower as it falls to the ground, withers, and decays. It carries the meaning of death and abolishment. God’s love, says the apostle, will never fall to the ground, wither, and decay. By its nature, it is permanent. It is never abolished.

Love “will last forever” (NLT).

It “never dies” (MSG).

It “never ends” (RSV).

Love “is eternal” (TEV).

God’s love “will never come to an end” (NEB).

Love never fails.

Governments will fail, but God’s love will last. Crowns are temporary, but love is eternal. Your money will run out, but his love never will.

How could God have a love like this? No one has unfailing love. No person can love with perfection. You’re right. No person can. But God is not a person. Unlike our love, his never fails. His love is immensely different from ours.

Our love depends on the receiver of the love. Let a thousand people pass before us, and we will not feel the same about each. Our love will be regulated by their appearance, by their personalities. Even when we find a few people we like, our feelings will fluctuate. How they treat us will affect how we love them. The receiver regulates our love.

Not so with the love of God. We have no thermostatic impact on his love for us. The love of God is born from within him, not from what he finds in us. His love is uncaused and spontaneous.

Does he love us because of our goodness? Because of our kindness? Because of our great faith? No, he loves us because of his goodness, kindness, and great faith. John says it like this: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us” (1 John 4:10 NIV).

Doesn’t this thought comfort you? God’s love does not hinge on yours. The abundance of your love does not increase his. The lack of your love does not diminish his. Your goodness does not enhance his love, nor does your weakness dilute it. What Moses said to Israel is what God says to us:

The LORD did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the LORD loves you. (Deut. 7:7–8 NLT)

God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so.


He loves you when you don’t feel lovely.

He loves you when no one else loves you. Others may abandon you, divorce you, and ignore you, but God will love you. Always. No matter what.

This is his sentiment: “I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved” (Rom. 9:25 MSG).

This is his promise. “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” (Jer. 31:3 NLT).

From A Love Worth Giving
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 2002) Max Lucado

Monday, December 28, 2009

2009 In Review

This year is almost over and I am taking a moment to reflect over the last 12 months. I name years before they happen and in 2008 I named 2009 the Year of Growth (as in personal growth for myself) and I was very excited about it. Well, it has been a year of personal growth and it was all tough stuff. I like to think of myself as being an optimist..but I am am so over 2009 and so ready for 2010 to begin. Oh and by the way..I have named 2010 The Year of Blessings.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Great Story..Merry Christmas


A DAY WITHOUT A SMILE IS A WASTED DAY!
Beautiful
story...... makes you understand that things happen for a
reason

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first
ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn , arrived in early October
excited about their opportunities. When they saw
their church, it was very run down and needed
much work. They set a goal to have everything
done in time to have their first service
on Christmas Eve..

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls,
painting, etc, and on December 18 were
ahead of schedule and just about finished.

O n December 19 a terrible tempest - a driving
rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

O n the 21st, the pastor went over to the church.
His heart sank when he saw that the roof had
leaked, causing a large area of plaster about
20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the
sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning
about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor,
and not knowing what else to do but
postpone the Christmas Eve service,
headed home. On the way he noticed that
a local business was having a flea market type
sale for charity, so he stopped in. One of the
items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored,
crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine
colors and a Cross embroidered right in the
center. It was just the right size to cover the
hole in the front wall. He bought it and
headed back to the church.

By this time it had started to snow.. An older
woman running from the opposite direction was
trying to catch the bus. She missed it. The pastor
invited her to wait in the warm church for
the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor
while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put
up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor
could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and
it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center
aisle.. Her face was like a sheet. "Pastor,"
she asked, "where did you get that tablecloth?"
The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check
the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were
crocheted into it there.. They were.. These were the initials of
the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before,
in Austria .

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor
told how he had just gotten "The Tablecloth". The
woman explained that before the war she and
her husband were well-to-do people in Austria .
When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave.
Her husband was going to follow her the next week.
He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her
husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth;
but she made the pastor keep it for the church.
The pastor insisted on driving her home. That
was the least he could do. She lived on the other
side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn
for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on
Christmas Eve. The church was almost
full. The music and the spirit were great. At the
end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted
everyone at the door and many said that they
would return. One older man, whom the pastor
recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of
in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he
wasn't leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on
the front wall because it was identical to one
that his wife had made years ago when
they lived in Austria before the war and how
could there be two tablecloths so much alike?

He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he
forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was
supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and
put in a prison. He never saw his wife or his home
again all the 35 years between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to
take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten
Island and to the same house where the pastor
had taken the woman three days earlier.

He helped the man climb the three flights of
stairs to the woman's apartment, knocked on
the door and he saw the greatest Christmas
reunion he could ever imagine.

True Story - submitted by Pastor Rob Reid
who says God does work in mysterious ways.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Do You See Him??

Do You See Him?

by Max Lucado

IT’S CHRISTMAS NIGHT. THE HOUSE IS QUIET. Even the crackle is gone from the fireplace. The last of the carolers appeared on the ten o’clock news. The last of the apple pie was eaten by my brother-in-law. And the last of the Christmas albums have been stored away having dutifully performed their annual rendition of chestnuts, white Christmases, and red-nosed reindeers.

It’s Christmas night.

The midnight hour has chimed and I should be asleep, but I’m awake. I’m kept awake by one stunning thought. The world was different this week. It was temporarily transformed.

The magical dust of Christmas glittered on the cheeks of humanity ever so briefly, reminding us of what is worth having and what we were intended to be. We forgot our compulsion with winning, wooing, and warring. We put away our ladders and ledgers, we hung up our stopwatches and weapons. We stepped off our race tracks and roller coasters and looked outward toward the star of Bethlehem.

It’s the season to be jolly because, more than at any other time, we think of him. More than in any other season, his name is on our lips.

And the result?

For a few precious hours, he is beheld. Christ the Lord. Those who pass the year without seeing him, suddenly see him. People who have been accustomed to using his name in vain, pause to use it in praise. Eyes, now free of the blinders of self, marvel at his majesty.

All of a sudden he’s everywhere.

In the grin of the policeman as he drives the paddy wagon full of presents to the orphanage.

In the twinkle in the eyes of the Taiwanese waiter as he tells of his upcoming Christmas trip to see his children.

In the emotion of the father who is too thankful to finish the dinner table prayer.

He’s in the tears of the mother as she welcomes home her son from overseas.

He’s in the heart of the man who spent Christmas morning on skid row giving away cold baloney sandwiches and warm wishes.

And he’s in the solemn silence of the crowd of shopping mall shoppers as the elementary school chorus sings “Away in a Manger.”

Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near.

It’s Christmas night. In a few hours the cleanup will begin—lights will come down, trees will be thrown out. Size 36 will be exchanged for size 40, eggnog will be on sale for half price. Soon life will be normal again. December’s generosity will become January’s payments and the magic will begin to fade.

But for the moment, the magic is still in the air. Maybe that’s why I’m still awake. I want to savor the spirit just a bit more. I want to pray that those who beheld him today will look for him next August. And I can’t help but linger on one fanciful thought: If he can do so much with such timid prayers lamely offered in December, how much more could he do if we thought of him every day?

From God Came Near
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1987) Max Lucado

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Aubrey Elaine has arrived

Let me introduce to you my pur newest grandbaby Aubrey Elaine. Her picutr is to your right. I had the honor of being with my daughter and her husband and through labor and delivery . What a miracle. I was able to hold her just minutes after she arrived on earth. I am blessed among all Nana's...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Every Passing Day

Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around." ~~From the movie "Vanilla Sky"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sometimes we just need to be reminded!

$20.00


Sometimes we just need to be reminded!




A well-known speaker started off his seminar by





holding up a $20.00 bill. In the room of 200, he asked,




"Who would like this $20 bill?"




Hands started going up.




He said, "I am going to give this $20 to one of you




but first, let me do this.




He proceeded to crumple up the $20 dollar bill.





He then asked, "Who still wants it?"




Still the hands were up in the air.




Well, he replied, "What if I do this?"




And he dropped it on the ground




and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe.




He picked it up, now crumpled and dirty.




"Now, who still wants it?"




Still the hands went into the air.




My friends, we have all learned a very valuable lesson.




No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it




because it did not decrease in value.




It was still worth $20.




Many times in our lives,




we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt




by the decisions we make and




the circumstances that come our way.




We feel as though we are worthless.




But no matter what has happened or




what will happen, you will never lose your value.




Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased,




you are still priceless to those who DO LOVE you.





The worth of our lives comes not in what we do or who we know,




but by WHO WE ARE.





You are special
- Don't EVER forget it."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Where were you when.....

Susan Summerville
I will never forget where I was on 9/11. I was driving to the bookstore I owned when the radio announced an airplane had hit the tower (the first one) and how the rest of the events of that day consumed me along with an entire nation. I remember cryi...ng. I remember feeling like everything was surreal. I remember watching the day unfold on the television in terror. I will never forget where I was on 9/11.

Where were you when you found out. Post and tell us.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Good Intentions!

Five birds are sitting on a telephone wire. Two decide to fly south. How many are left? Most people would say three. Actually, all five are left. You see, deciding to fly isn’t the same as doing it.

If a bird really wants to go somewhere, it’s got to point itself in the right direction, jump off the wire, flap its wings, and keep flapping until it gets there.

So it is with most things. Good intentions aren't enough. It’s not what we want, say, or think that makes things happen; it’s what we do.

I frequently think of writing thank-you, birthday, and congratulatory notes. Unfortunately, only a sad few of these good sentiments ever make it to paper. Still, if I don’t look too closely, I can delude myself into thinking that based on my good thoughts I’m a gracious and grateful person. A truer and less admirable picture of my character is drawn by my actions.

In the end, we either do or don’t do. We either make the time to do the things we want to and should do or we make excuses. As Alfred Adler said, “Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.”

What do you want to do? Do you want to take a course, change your job, lose weight, make new friends, or spend more time with and appreciate more the ones you have?

What’s stopping you from jumping off the wire and flapping your wings?

By Michael Josephson

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Monday

Men are anxious to improve their circumstances but are unwilling to improve themselves. They therefore remain bound.– James Allen, essayist (1864-1912)

When I told you I would post again on Monday I bet you thought I meant last Monday! I did. I have had many challenges this past week, including health and was unable to post. I am sorry I left you hanging.

When I last left you I asked you to be thinking about what you feel strongly about and what you are willing to stand up for. This is all a part of really getting to know ourselves. Many of us have never asked ourselves this question.

When I asked myself this question, I came up with many answers. Here are a few of them.

The Value of Human Life (all life)
Human Rights (including the rights of children)
My Faith
Freedom for each person.......freedom of expression, opinion, religion etc.

What about you? What are you willing to stand up for? Please share with us.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Start Thinking About....and winner of the giveaway!

Start thinking about what your convictions are. What do you believe in or believe so strongly that you are willing to stand up for? This is one of the questions we will be asking on Monday when we look a little deeper into ourselves.

The winner of the journal this week is Nicole. Please email me at smsummerville@hotmail.com your address and I will send it off to you next week.

I am out of town and will be home by Monday so the picture of the new giveaway will go up then. All you need to do to be entered into the drawing on Friday, May 1st is to post a comment between now and Thursday the 30th.

PLEASE make sure you are writing your answers in a notebook or journal. It is very important to write these answers down as we will be referring back to them later in this series.

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!

Peace,
Susan



Thursday, April 23, 2009

Let's Get Personal

In today's assignment we are going to concentrate on the personal area of our life. We all have different areas (vocational, relational, spiritual) etc that we want to work on and I promise we will get to all of them, but for the next lessons we will not move from this area. There personal area includes all the areas of self: your beliefs, your strength, your weaknesses, your health, your diet, your values, your convictions and your character.

Today I want you to examine your beliefs. Do you have a belief system? Are you a Christen?, A Jew?, An Agnostic? Why do you believe? Were you raised this way or did you make a choice as an adult to believe a certain way. If someone asked you about your faith, would you say that it was strong, weak or lacking.

These are private questions for your journal..you may share if you wish but you are not being asked to.

I would like for you to share with me how you felt after writing these things down and if anything was revealed to you.

Friday I will draw the name to win the journal from all the post from the last three entries.

Peace,
Susan

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What about this question?!

It is always good to force ourselves to find things that we appreciate about ourselves. All too often we look only at the areas we perceive ourselves to be lacking and ignore all the areas that we are gifted in. That is why it is so important for you to write your five things down in a journal. I will challenge you to add to the things that you like about yourself or that you feel that you are gifted in as it is revealed to you.

Today we will make another list. What are five things about yourself that you are not happy with..JUST FIVE. My guess is that I will get more responses to this question than I did with the first.

Here are my five:
1. I procrastinate
2. I don't always weigh my words before they come out of my mouth
3. I am not happy with my weight
4. All of my boundaries are not defined
5. I am a writer but I am not writing

We will be making list for several days and will be working off of them during this entire session of Becoming a Better You. So if you are just starting.please go back to day one and catch up.

YOUR TURN....What are your five things?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Just Five Things or Unpacking baggage!

We start our series on (Becoming The Best Me) today. Over the next few weeks we are going to look deeply into ourselves and unpack some of the areas in our lives that have been thrown into that baggage we carry along with us everywhere we go . We are going to lighten our load and at the same time discover things about ourselves that will encourage and inspire us to grow into the BEST we can be.

We will begin today by writing down (yes it is important that you write it down on paper or in a journal somewhere) 5 things that we like about ourselves. If you have a difficult time with this as some of us will..try looking at the areas your gifted in . I want you to POST here on the blog when you have done this. You do not need to share the five things but I would love it if you did.

As I share before, I will never ask you to do something I am not willing to do myself.

Here are my five things.

1. I am an encourager
2. I am a good Mom at this time in my life and a GREAT Nana
3. I am a good listener but working on being a better one
4. I am willing to do the work I need to do to overcome and become the best I can be.
5. If you ask me to pray for you ..you can be assured that I will

Your Turn!!!

REWARDS FOR WORKING ON YOURSELF!!!

The biggest reward will be the results you get...but I will also be having weekly drawings for blog giveaways. The prizes for this weeks drawing is pictured at the upper right hand corner of the blog. The drawing will take place on Friday, April 24th. All you need to do to be entered into the drawing is post here on the blog..If you post each day you will be entered in 6 times. In other word the more you post the more your name goes into the drawing. If you recommend the blog and this series to anyone and they post they are here on your recommendation you sill receive a gift from me as well as another entry into the blog. I just feel that this series is important enough to share with those you love.

I am looking forward to hearing from you!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Forms and Giveaways

As promised:

http://www.betterbudgeting.com/

This website has a wealth of information on HOW to budget and includes free down loadable forms to fill out.

The other tip that I feel I must share with you is freecycle. Just type in freecycle and the name of your city or state in the search area and it should show you where to sign up. People list items they have available and items they need..Everything is free!
It is AWESOME. Be careful and never let anyone into your home that you do not know. I also suggest taking someone with you when you pick up an item. This is the world wide web you know.

Winners of the giveaways (a journal {raisingalexis} and three calligraphy markers {Beth}..please email me your addresses at smsummerville@hotmail.com

Thursday starts a new series and a new giveaway. Tune in then to find out more. Here is a hint..The giveaway is going to be a papercrafting scrappy giveaway...and the series is going to be all about becoming a better you!

Below , in the precious post you will find a youtube link. Just click on it and enjoy Susan Boyles..let her beautiful voice rock your world. She is singing one of my favorite songs from my all time favorite musical. You will not believe your ears.




My Gift To You!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

Watch..this will bring a smile to your face and encourage your heart.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Simple Approach

On April 15th I will hold the drawing for the last two gifts to be given away during the series on Saving Money and budgeting. I will also list all of the rest of the resources I have on budgeting and saving money. This series has not been very popular with the masses so I will close it on the 15th instead of the 30 as originally planned. I will be starting a brand new series on the 16th. Stop back in to check it out.

Remember to qualify for the drawing you need only to leave a comment or a prayer request.

The following is my gift to you today. It helped me through this day. I pray it does the same for you.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
Matthew 11:28-30

One of the definitions of simple is "easy." With that in mind, take a look at Jesus' words in the passage above. Notice how often the words "ease" and "easy" appear.

First of all, Jesus said, "Learn of Me." I believe He meant, "Learn how I handle situations and people. Learn what My response would be to any given circumstance and follow My ways." Jesus was not stressed out or burned out. He was not controlled by circumstances and by the demands of other people. In John 14:6, He said, "I am the Way." His way is the right way—the way that will lead us into righteousness, peace, and joy.

Remember that in John 15:11 Jesus prayed that His enjoyment would fill our souls. That is not going to happen unless we learn a different approach to life and its many different circumstances. I could write about various things that we need to simplify, and the list would be endless. But if we can learn to have the simple approach to everything, that is far better than learning to be simple in some things.

No matter what you face, if you will ask yourself what the simple approach would be, I believe you will be amazed at the creative ideas you will have. The Holy One lives in you; and although He is awesomely powerful, He is also awesomely simple. The Holy Spirit will teach you simplicity if you truly wish to learn.


From the book New Day, New You: 365 Devotions for Enjoying Everyday Life by Joyce Meyer. Copyright © 2007 by Joyce Meyer. Published by FaithWords. All rights reserved.




Monday, April 13, 2009

Let me make your day!!

Cut and paste..You will be so happy you did!

http://carolynspreciousmemories.com/Videos/kids_artlinkletter.html

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter. My gift to you today is this letter.

LET IT REALLY SINK IN - THEN CHOOSE

John is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and

Always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he

Was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!"

He was a natural motivator

If an employee was having a bad day, John was there telling the employee

How to look on the positive side of the situation

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up and asked

Him, "I don't get it

You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it

He replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two

Choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... You can choose

To be in a bad mood

I choose to be in a good mood

Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or...I can

Choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it

Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their

Complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the

Positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested

"Yes, it is," he said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all

The junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to

Situations. You choose how people affect your mood.

You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your

Choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what he said. Soon hereafter, I left the Tower Industry to

Start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I

Made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that he was involved in a serious accident,

Falling some 60 feet from a communications tower.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, he was released

From the hospital with rods placed in his back.

I saw him about six months after the accident.

When I asked him how he was, he replied, "If I were any better, I'd be Twins....Wanna see my scars?"

I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his

Mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my Soon-to-be born daughter," he replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I Remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or...I could Choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked

He continued, "..the paramedics were great.

They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into The ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I Got really scared. In their eyes, I read 'he's a dead man'. I knew I Needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said John. "She asked if I was allergic to anything 'Yes, I replied.' The doctors and Nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath And yelled, 'Gravity'."

Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as If I am alive, not dead."

He lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude... I learned from him that every day we have the choice To live fully.

Attitude, after all, is everything.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about Itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34.

After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

**

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Link of the day!

Link of the day

http://www.justfreestuff.com/faq.php

All Free...All The Time.

May you all have a blessed Easter Sunday.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Money Saving Links and New Pictures to share

As promised here is a yahoo group that you are going to love. I have received more free samples through this group than anywhere else.

http://finance. groups.yahoo. com/group/ Friends_Freebies /

And for those of you that are really serious about saving money ..check out this website!

http://www.cindysporch.net/

If you look to your right your will see the newest pictures of our grandbabies...I even put up a widget to let you see what baby dear looks like...we are expecting a grand entrance on or around October of this year.

Check out the above sites and let me know what you think. Are you keeping a daily journal of what you are spending so we can do a budget in a week? Are you finding the sites I have been listing useful? What other financial area would you like to cover this month?

Prayer request are always encouraged and welcomed.

Let me hear from you..We will have two new blog giveaways on the 15th randomly selected from those of you that post between now and then.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Giveaways and a GREAT blog find for saving money.

Here is the giveaway that will go to Alicia this week. It is perfect for those of us dedicated to keeping records of what we spend this month. Our other winner this week is Beth and she will be receiving Turning Towards Joy by David Jeremiah.
Alicia..Please send me your address at smsummerville@hotmail.com. Beth, I have yours.

Here is a GREAT blog I have found that has so many ways to save money your head will spin.
http://frugalniftytips.blogspot.com/
It is also listed at the right side of my blog in the blogs I visit.

Today..I just ask that you visit this site and/or the one I posted on Monday and share with me your favorite thing. Please also share any savings that you have experienced this week, tips , thoughts or prayer request. If there is an area that you need to save money on..post that as well and I will be happy to list the information that I have in my files on that area.

New giveaways starting today. They will be posting on Thursday. The next drawing will be on April 15th...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Saving Money At The Grocery Store Part Two

I am home and already saving money this month. I am SO EXCITED to share this website with you. You will find the top ways to save money at the grocery as I promised and a much better free printable price log that you can print out and start saving money right away. http://www.grocerysavingtips.com/tips/groceries.htm

I am looking forward reading what you think about this site. I will have a new site everyday this week. I have found ways to save hundreds even thousands of dollars from everything from groceries, pet food,patches, cleaning products, clothing and even housewares and furniture. It took a bit of research but the results have been SO worth it.

If you have not done so make sure that you read the comments from our first day of saving. We having plenty of great tips that have been shared.

Here is my big save today. My daughter is expecting a baby in October. I have a car seat already but I will need an infant car seat for my car. I had someone give my a (like new) one..and I was SO excited. Then I researched and found that it had a recall issued. I was bummed and then thought...I know I didn't buy it but they should still honor the recall..right?? So I called the company and sure enough they are sending a new kit at no charge. So I have a new infant car seat for FREE.

I also received my coupon for a FREE multi pack of kids essentials nutritionally complete chocolate drink...(a $5.00 value)

and I printed out my rebate form for $4.99 back for the All Bran Strawberry Melody Cereal...

So my combined savings for today are $129.99

Now..go check out the website I gave you and let me know what you think. Remember the RAK's will be picked on the 8th for this week and all you need to do to enter is post a message. Which reminds me..pictures..Hmmm. I knew I was forgetting something. They will be at the top of Tuesday's post.

Please also leave prayer request. I would love to pray for you.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Saving AT The Grocery Store..

First let me say that I am sorry I am posting a day late. I am on a business trip and yesterday it was ALL BUSINESS. I didn't have a spare moment to log this post. Some days are just like that. I will be traveling home on Saturday and SKip and I will be hosting a birthday party for our one year old grandson on Sunday for 50 people so needless to say I will not be posting again until Monday the 6th.

Now getting down to the business of saving money at the grocery store. In my research I have found many websites out there that have valuable information for those of us trying to find ways to stretch our dollars. I have done the research for you but it will require some work on your part to reap the most benefits.

One thing that I have read over and over again is that in order to really save the most money it is important to comparison shop. At www.grocerysavingstips.com you will find a printable price log.I highly recommend that you print this out and start pricing staple items at different grocery stores in your area. If you are like me ,you gravitate to the store that offers perks for the money you spend. I have spent thousands of dollars at Giant Eagle since they have offered money off at the gas pump for shopping there. I was shocked to find that all the FREE GAS I thought I had earned by shopping there was not free at all. When I compare the cost of just the staple items(milk, bread, fruits, vegetables,meat) I buy there every week with two other area grocery stores I found that Giant Eagle was Higher on those items 90% of the time. So was the gas really free???

If you are not already a member of a warehouse store you may want to consider joining one. The savings are significant. If you are single or have a small family and think shopping in bulk takes too much out of your budget at once..consider going in with another singe or small family and split the cost of buying in bulk.

Since we are working for two weeks on writing down everything we spend I can not tell you how very important this is when buying your groceries. This will help you as we set up your grocery budget. Even now before we have a budget set..Tell your self how much money you want to spend at the grocery store, take a calculator with you and DO NOT GO OVER no matter what. This may mean giving up some items that you think you must have. My advice to you is to prioritize what is really important to you..I will use our family for an example...Nothing Says Good Morning Like Foldgers In Your Cup? Well at our house you need to replace Foldgers with STARBUCKS FRENCH ROAST.. So what does that mean to our grocery budget?? It doesn't mean I should add on another $10 dollars a week to the budget it means I should shop grocery store brands on items that are just as good as national brands, it means I should plant tomato this summer and it means that I should buy at our local farmers market all summer long and freeze as much as I can..In other words..cut in other areas and give up other items that are not as important.

How are you all doing with writing things down(everything you spend money on)? Adrienne..I promise we will be going into debt reduction and will cover student loans as well during our month of looking at our finances as a whole..

Adrienne and Debbie I will be sending you both a notebook to keep in your purse so you can write down every cent this month. (This is the RAK I promised on the first of the month to all that posted they would commit to doing this)..It is not too late..just make a commitment to this in a post and I will send you one as well. Today is the last day for this offer.

I will be listing the top 10 things you can do to saved money at the grocery on Monday.

Please let us hear from you. Tell us where you find your deals..What you do to save money at the grocery. Share the wealth of your knowledge with others. Everyone that post will be entered into the drawing that will be held of the 8th ..We have two giveaways this week. The pictures of the giveaways will go up on the 6th.

Have a blessed week end.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New Series and Blog Giveaways!

Today we will start a new series that will run the entire month of April. With the economic downturn effecting so many people I feel led to do a series on ways to be frugal and save money . I have been doing my homework and have several resources, tips, websites and books that I will be sharing with you. I also invite you to join in by posting any tips that you have as well.

So many people I know have absolutely no idea where they stand financially. If I asked them how much money they had in their checking, saving, 401k account etc..they could not begin to tell me. They are usually the same people that when asked what the budget is for groceries will say.."What budget"......and even worse..If asked how much they owed on credit cards etc..they would also have no clue.I can relate to all of them because I was once one of them. My husband has been my greatest teacher in financial responsibility. I have been a SLOW learner. I found it was very difficult to break old habits. Many of us were never taught how to budget..It is not taught as a required course in school so unless you had parents that took time to teach you(if they even knew how to themselves) ..you probably never learned this important life skill.

In this series we will start looking at our finances as a whole. The first thing that I want you to commit to me is that you will write down absolutely everything you spend for two weeks . I will join you in this process. At the end of the two weeks I think we will be more aware of where the money is going and will also have more of an idea on how to set up our budgets.
So for today I just want a commitment. Post here that you commit to writing everything down for two weeks. All that do will receive a RAK from me at the end of the two weeks once you have posted what you have discovered. YES..IT IS THAT IMPORTANT TO WRITE IT DOWN!

On Thursday we will talk about groceries and ways that you can save at the grocery store along with several tips, recipes and websites to help you out in your quest to feed your family on a budget. These are all things that I am implementing into our own family budget.

Winners of the last Blog Giveaways were posted on the previous post..Make sure you look to see if you are the winner. The new blog giveaway winners will be drawn one week from today. I will be giving away two each week during this series and will be posting pictures on the 5th when I return home.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Here we go again!!! What is up with Blogger!

I have tried and tried to edit the below post several times today as when I was in the middle of writing it this morning I lost the connection. I was in such a rush and had not yet run spell check and as you can see not only are there several misspelled words (God knows how to keep me humble) but the post was also left unfinished..so here is the finish of the post!

The Saving Money series will run from April 1st through the 15th. We will have many blog giveaways during the month of April. Two or more each week. The only way you can win is by posting a comment or a prayer request. I will be uploading the pictures of the first two weeks of give aways when I return home on the 5th.

I would love for you to share with me anything from the simplifying your life series that you have put into practice or that has made a difference in your life. I am also seeking your request for upcoming series here on Bloom Where You Are Planted. Please Share!

Have a Blessed Evening.

Winners of giveaway and Last Day of Simplifying Series

The last two ways to Simplify from the inside out are:



EXERCISE: this is something that I have just started scheduling into my week. I can not believe the difference in how I feel physically AND mentally. I am sorry to say it has taken me this many years to finally accept that this is a discipline that is NOT optional if I want my life to be the Best it can be.. I encourage you all to do this for YOURSELF..Try taking a brisk walk several times a week.. Find what works for you.



MEDITATION: Taking just a small amount of time each day to meditate on God's Word or something positive will result in very POSITIVE results. Remember What you put into your mind comes out in your life...



The WINNER of the Journal is Sara (she posted on March 21st)

The WINNER of the paper crafting set is Kim's Kreations (she posted on March 28th)

Ladies please email me at smsummerville@hotmail.com with your address and I will send both packages out on April 6th.



We will start a new series on Wednesday the 1st. The series will be on ways to save money and be thrifty in this current economic situation. I have done my research and will have many tips and several websites to share with you. Reader involvement will be welcome and encouraged. This series will run from the 1st through the 15th.

I would love for you to share with me anything about the simplify your life series that you have found useful. I also would like feedback on future series that you would like to see here on Bloom. Please take a moment to share.

Have a blessed day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Simplifying from the Inside Out!

For the last two days of our series we will talk about Simplifying from the inside out.

For years I walked around like a pressure boiler just waitint to pop. I held every stress , resentment, pressure and negative thing inside. This resulted in unhealthy forms of escape, ulcers, deep rooted resentment and a pretty ugly attitude most of the time.

Today I know that the more I stuff inside without sharing the more unhealthy I am and the more complicated my life becomes. I am not unique. What is true for me is true for all of us.

So what are some of the things we can do to simplify our lives from the inside out?

For me that process has taken on many forms.

1. I pray. I realease everything to God. He knows EVERYTHING anyway. There are no secrets from Him. Will it really do me any good to try to hide the fact that I have a hardened heart towards someone from Him? OR would it not make more sense for me to share it and ASK Him to soften my heart and tell Him what I am feeling? I pray every morning and then I continue to talk to God throughout the day. Often I speak to him just like I am talking to you.

I Journal. I find that writing things down actaully helps me work things that I am conflicted about through. It also helps me release some of the stress that I am holding in. I write for my eyes only and if it is something I really never wish anyone ever to read then I throw that page away when I am finished. Most of the time my journaling is done in an actual journal that I keep.

I share with friends. I have a couple of close friends that I know I can share absolutly ANYTHING with. They will pray for me, hold me accountable and they wont judge me. I know what a blessing they are in my life and I try not to ever take that for granted. I am so lucky in the fact that my husband is also a friend like this to me and helps hold me accountable in several areas of my life. I also try to never take that for granted.

Here are just three ways I try to simplify form the inside out...On Tuesday we will discuss the other two.

Look at your life right now. What can you do right now to help Simplify your life from the inside out? OR What are you doing to simplify your life from teh inside out??

Let me know what you think of the series on SImplfying your life? Have you learned anything form the blog or from the readers that have commmented? I know I certainly have been blessed by many of the comments and have learned so many things from all of you. Thank you. I love your insight.

Today is your last day to comment to be entered into the drawing to be held on the 31st for the journal and the papercrafting package. See you all here on Tuesday for the announcement of the winners, to wrap up this series and announce the new one.

Until I see you again may God bless and keep you! Love, Susan

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I Believe

1. I believe I’m a work in progress and there will always be a gap between who I am and who I want to be.

2. I believe every day brings opportunities to learn and do something meaningful.

3. I believe the true test of my character is whether I do the right thing even when it might cost more than I want to pay.

4. I believe no matter how I behave, some people will be mean-spirited, dishonest, irresponsible, and unkind, but if I fight fire with fire, all I’ll end up with are the ashes of my own integrity.

5. I believe life is full of joys and sorrows, and my happiness will depend on how well I handle each.

6. I believe pain is inevitable but suffering is optional, and if I can control my attitudes, I can control my life.

7. I believe kindness matters and snide comments and badly timed criticisms can cause lasting hurt.

8. I believe there’s joy in gratitude and freedom in forgiveness, but both require conscientious effort.

9. I believe what is fun or pleasurable is not always good for me and what is good for me is not always fun or

pleasurable.

10. I believe no one is happy all the time, but in the end I can be as happy as I’m willing to be.

11. I believe the surest road to happiness is good relationships.

YOUR TURN...Finish this sentence: I BELIEVE ___________________!

Have a blessed Sunday. We will be back to our regualr lesson on Monday.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Family Updates and BOUNDARIES


FAMILY UPDATE: It is so hard for me to believe that Wyatt will be one in just a few days. This is the last picture I have of him from a week ago. He is so precious.

Sarah is doing well and has been taken off bed rest. She will see a high risk pregnancy doctor on April 23rd and she will continue on with her own OB/GYN as well. She loves him and as we Mommy's know..that is very important. Her baby is due on October 13th. We are so excited here.

Mom is still trying to adjust to her new diet (due to the blood thinner that she is on) and we are still working on regulating her heart medicine as well as her heart rate. I will take her to the cardiologist on April 6th.

Tyler will have his (four year old birthday ) as he likes to say in less than 4 months. He is growing up so fast. He prays for us at meals now and will pray for everything on the table..Prayers go something like this..."Fank(this is how he says Thank) you God for the chicken and the potatoes and that stuff and Bless us Lord for the green beans and don't forget the cup cakes..AMEN! This is one of the most precious prayers I have ever been privileged to hear!

Hannah is finishing off her second year in college and will be moving out this summer..Yes that means EMPTY NEST..you will be hearing much more about this in months to come.

Ede is working full time as a graphics artist and media specialist as well as going to going to college at night..Busy Busy Busy!!

Aaron is CFO of Regency and doing an OUTSTANDING job!!

Matthew is working long hours at Montrose Ford witting insurance estimates.

Skip and I are BLESSED...Life is Hard but God is Good!!

BOUNDARIES

We have talked about boundaries before and as we finish this series on Simplifying your life I think it is the most important topic that we have hit on. Without boundaries in our lives, life because out of control and chaotic quickly.
Skip and I are working together to create some new boundaries in our lives. When you have 5 grown children,(we are blessed to have all of our children living with in a few miles of us) 3 spouses of children, 1 that will be a spouse, 2 grandchildren with another on the way and your mother lives with you......BOUNDARIES have become something that we feel to avoid major problems such as burnout, lack of time together as a couple, no margin...etc...

Today I want you to share with me some of the ways you have implemented boundaries in your life or what boundaries mean to you. If lack of boundaries with family or friends is an issue with you..share about that as well. The thing that I have found to be such a blessing about this blog is that we not only learn from the lessons but from each other. I want to hear from you.

The other thing I want to open this blog up for is prayer request. Skip and I pray together every morning and I pray throughout each day. If you have a request simply label it prayer request in the comments. I will be working on the blog to set up a separate place for them after the 6th but for now..just labeling them will work. If you do not wish to publicly list your request you may directly email me at smsummerville@hotmail.com.

Have a BLESSED day.. I will be back on Monday as I will be traveling all day Sunday.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Adapting to Life on Lifes Terms

We often think it would be wonderful if we could write a script for our life and all the characters in our play of life would read their lines correctly and speak them at the right times??

I think this sometimes but know it is not true. If I wrote the script I know I would be running the show based on MY will and not God's.

Life is HARD but God is GOOD...This is what I hold on to when I am feeling overwhelmed or at times defeated by this thing called life.

My life certainly was shaken this past week. As I am in the process of seeking God's will and asking what He would have me do I am also in the process of getting ready to leave for business on Sunday for six days..the day we return we will already have house guest (my daughter in law's parents and brother ) will be staying with us Saturday night and Sunday night (4th and 5th)..Our grandsons first birthday party will be here on Sunday the 5th starting at 3:30. Sometime when margin in my life seems too thin God takes me from the place I am in and puts me somewhere else. In this case He is doing this literally. I will be away from home and will have some down time that I normally would not have.I will use that time to seek Him...

When life becomes too much or you feel you have lost control (which in case you didn't know you never really had control anyway)..I encourage you to seek God's Will. Cry out to Him, Praise Him for the good in your life and lay all our burdens at His feet.

My question for you today is: How do you cope when Life throws you a curve? Share with me the last time you felt completely overwhelmed and what was going on at the time..

Drawing will be held on March 31st even as I am out of town. There will be two lucky winners. Prizes posted in earlier post this week.

Have a blessed day.






Thursday, March 26, 2009

We Interupt This Lesson.....














I have had many of my friends asking me to show my scrap pages here. Since this is more of a devotional blog and not so much a sharing blog, I have posted a few at the side but decided to upload a few that I have done. ..On Friday we will be back to the normal devotional theme...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So what are your gifts? What are you good at?

I think one of the best revelations I have had while seeking to simply my life is that there are things I do very well and gifts that I have that God has equipped me with that I can bless others with. The even BIGGER revelation was that there are also many things I am NOT gifted at...I used to try to do everything my friends did..If they made all their window treatments and childrens clothing..I thought I should too, If they ran the childrens department at their church... I thought I should too, If they volunteered at the animal shelter..I thought I should too...when the reality is that I should not do any of those things as that I am not gifted to do them ..therefore those task would be very tedious to me because I am not equipped with those talents or gifts..

My mother is a wonderful seamstress and she makes the most beautiful fabric covered baskets in the world. She made mine, my daughters and both daughter in laws wedding baskets for the flower girls and favors and people are always asking her to make them. Two Easters ago I decided that I would make my grandson a Thomas the Tank fabric covered Easter Basket. I asked my Mother for help..By the time I had finished the basket I wanted to throw it out the window..Tyler LOVED the basket and it is still used for his Easter basket..However..since I am not gifted in this area...the task became frustrating and not at all enjoyable to do.
How many times do we volunteer and or take on a task that we are not gifted in? Or maybe even worse..maybe we actually work in a job that we are not gifted at. In all the years that my children went to school from Kindergarten through College I have met several teachers that I believe chose the wrong profession..they did not enjoy what they were doing or they were not gifted at it and BOY COULD YOU TELL! At the same time I have met teachers that were so awesome and so impactful that they influence the lives the touch into adulthood and beyond.

I have taken time to write down my gifts and talents and have asked God to reveal to me any that have not been as well as areas of my life that I am spinning my wheels and areas of my life that I am trying to force due to (my own stubbornness or perhaps a bad case of gift envy :) ) As I described the above tasks..I took sewing lessons and never enjoyed sewing and honestly do not do it very well, I love children but am not gifted at working with them as a group, I love animals..but know I would not enjoy working at an animal shelter....

I have the gifts of Faith, Encouragement,Teaching, Mercy, Giving and Hospitality. Things I do very well are: cook, bake, artistic expression in the form of paint, photography, scrap booking, card making. journalism and mixed media. I encourage well and mentor women. I am a good listening, hostess and friend.

I continue to add to the things I am not gifted in or do not enjoy doing at all as well. Usually these things mirror each other.

So today I will ask you to simply post a list of areas that you know you are gifted..If you are having a hard time thinking of what your gifts might be, think about what you are passionate about and what you enjoy doing.. That is a great place to start. On Wednesday we will then look at the areas that we are not gifted..or they things that bring us no joy at all.

I can not wait to see your list..

Don't forget that all who post will be entered into a drawing on the 31st for the journal and paper crafting giveaway found below..

Have a blessed day!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Simplifying Your Life..Who Cares What People Think!!


Here are the pictures I have been promising of the giveaways that will be given away on March 31st. All you need to do is to post a comment between now and the 31st. Each post is another entry into the drawing.

Please notice that at the upper right of the blog I have added the layout I did of my friend Staci Compher that was interviewed last week on the blog. It is pretty intimidating doing a layout of her since she is the most published person I know. Her scrap art is AMAZING! But I did it out of love and I know she will like it for that reason alone if nothing else.


One of the things I am working on in the process of simplifying my life is letting go of what other people think of me. I have often found myself being excessively concerned about how others viewed me to the point it would occupy my mind for hours and sometimes days. Have you ever thought to yourself..Oh if I just wouldn't have said that or I wish I had not shared that or I wish I had not run into so and so at the store when I looked like this? If you have then you understand exactly what I am talking about.

I love this quote by John Milton: "A man's reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is."

We are never going to please everyone all the time and there is not one person alive that EVERYONE likes..not even one...So what I am focusing on is pleasing God, being true to who I really am and leaving the results to Him. This is a tall order especially for those of us that struggle with people pleasing.

I have wasted too much of my life worrying about what others think. What about you?






Friday, March 20, 2009

What did you put in your mind this morning?

Below is one of my favorite writing of Max Lucado. I so enjoy his work. I read it today and was immediately convicted to live this way..one day at a time.

It was a very positive thing to read..I wonder how I would have felt if I had started my day reading the newspaper instead...instead of thinking about what I could do today to make a difference I may have been think about how angry I am about the AIG news or I could have been thinking about the young man that was just sentenced to life in prison for shaking his baby to death...NOT THE WAY I WANT TO START MY DAY. NOT THE THINGS I WANT TO DWELL ON BEFORE MY DAY EVEN BEGINS. As we finish talking about What we put into our minds (television,reading and music) let's really THINK about what we are feeding our soul.

I would love for you to post any feeling that you have about what we have been coviering or about the writing below from Max. Remember that everyone that post on the blog between the 15th and the 31st will go into a drawing for a journal and a paper crafting give away.

The winner from yesterday's one day Random Act of Kindess Drawing is Jan. Please email me at smsummerville@hotmail.com your address and I will get your surprise into the mail on Friday.



Today I will Make a Difference

Today I will make a difference.

I will begin by controlling my thoughts.

A person is the product of his thoughts.

I want to be happy and hopeful.

Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful.

I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances.

I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters.

I will avoid negativism and gossip.

Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark.

Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me.

Time is a precious commodity.

I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom.

I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant.

I will drink each minute as though it is my last.

When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever.

While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving.

Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me.

Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures.

I will admit them. I will correct them.

I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It's OK to stumble...

I will get up. It's OK to fail... I will rise again.

Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love.

My spouse, my children, my family.

A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love.

A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships.

Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world.

Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening.

Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.


HOW WILL YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY??