Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What's going on...

Good morning to all. It has been a while since my last post. So much has happened which includes our move back to our old house. We have moved twice in six months but this move is permanent. We are very glad to be back in our home, with our neighbors and back at our church.

Spring is here and it seems I'm doing a couple of things. I'm revamping my stewardship ministry 
as well as I have started a new blog. The new blog is something I have wanted to do for a while now. So pray for me as I seek direction for Empowerment Through Stewardship.

For now my new blog will include posts on stewardship and other great things. Please join me on my new endeavour, you will be blessed.

Click on the link below to view my new blog. Please comment and give feedback, it's greatly appreciated.   *Make sure to follow by email to get all updated posts as they come out. Tell a's a new day and spring is in the air!

Thank you for all the love and support. Remember to pray for those in Oklahoma.

See you at the new blog!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year and New Goals

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. As we leave the Christmas season, we journey into a new year. A new year with new hopes, new possibilities and a new determination to be better stewards. Perhaps now is the time to set new goals for 2013 and follow through. No matter how small the goal, just get started. Here is a simple 3 step plan of action. Think, write and post. First take some time to sit down and really think about things you want to change or improve in terms of your finances, write them down and then post them where you can read them daily.  
Here are a few examples of what I mean. Pick a bill to pay off this year by paying a little extra each month. Can this be done? Sure, pick the bill that you owe the least amount. Why not hold a "purge and pay yard sale" this spring? Purge your home of all unwanted and unused items via garage/yard sale and use the money to pay off or pay down a bill. This venture can be fun and easy with a little help and prior planning.

You can make a goal to read a financial book this year or subscribe to a reputable financial magazine? When was the last time you checked your credit report and score? The New Year might be a good time to do both. Doing this can also ensure that your information is current and correct.

One of my 2013 goals is to incorporate more giving with my children. Right now they understand it on a small scale and it's a good start. My 5 year old who could not dream of giving her money away ( read the post) now puts change into the Miracle Network jar every time we go to our local grocery store. In fact every time I take my three children to the store they ask for money to put into the jar. This teaching lesson started when they saw me put money into the jar and asked why. I explained to them that some children are very sick and don't get to live with their parents and have to stay in the hospital until they get better and the money helps them. My 5 year old had lots of questions but now her only question is "can I have money to put in the jar?". When asked about the money they will tell you "it's for the sick children at the hospital".

Above are just a few examples of goals to set for the new year. No goal is too small and can yield BIG impact if followed through. Getting started is key.

Happy New Year and finish strong!

Remember. "True empowerment comes through stewardship!"

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Children and Christmas

With Christmas less than a week away, I sat down and talked to my children again about Christmas giving. Grant it, my children are 4 and 5 and very much into "I want". We talked about the usual topics of toys and all of the other things they felt they had to have. I asked them what they planned to give for Christmas. Not much conversation there. I decided to help them out at this point.

I told them that there are many ways to give other than buying things with money. I explained that we could make our own gifts and it would be lots of fun. As well as we can give gifts from the heart and of our own free will. We'll see how this goes over...

So the fun began, we made place mats, ornaments and other crafts. Imagine three kids 5yrs old and under with glue and glitter. What was I thinking? They really enjoyed making ornaments. We went outside and picked pine cones (free), put glue all over them and then sprinkled with, you guessed it, tons of glitter. WHY? They loved making these ornaments. We then used pretty ribbons to tie around the end of the glittery, shimmering pine cones, of course they had to dry first. These can also be used to add sparkle to any wreath or place into a bowl for Christmas/winter decor. Take a look! 

The next idea went over better than I thought it would. I cut out colored card stock paper into box sized pieces. We then named all of the gifts they could give from the heart, love, lots of hugs, kind words, clean our room, and my personal favorite, "take my nap".  They were on a roll: put books away, be kind, pray for others, obey mom and dad, help others, were also gifts they could give.

On the pre-cut boxes we tied bows, wrote their gift down, and then used the dreaded "glitter". What is this fixation with children and glitter?? Gotta love it! Their gifts turned out very nice and were placed under our tree. They were very excited and I hope a seed has been planted in their hearts about giving. Kids are never too young to learn this principle. Here is a picture of a few of the completed gifts they made, enjoy. Hope you can read the writing.

Hope these inspire gift givng ideas for your children or the children in your life.

Merry Christmas!

Remember. "True empowerment comes through stewardship!"

Friday, November 30, 2012

Contentment. What is this?

I hope everyone had a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude, family and friends. As we leave Thanksgiving and enter the Christmas season it seems the rush is on. GoodbyeThanksgiving, hello black Friday!

Is this the time of the year we become less content? We see more "things" that we have to have in order to be happy. All forms of media constantly bombard us with "you HAVE to have this" or "you NEED this". It seems, according to them that we are never good enough, as is. They say "you're to thin, buff up", "you're too big, slim down". "Can't sleep, take this pill", " you need to wake up, drink this energy drink". " Your home is too big, scale back", "you need a bigger home, call us". The madness continues as there are always ways invented to spend your money, and to spend it quickly! There is always a sense of urgency to get it NOW, and pay later. It should be more like get it now, pay forever...

Does being content mean you don't dream or want better? Of course not, it means you can appreciate where you are right now and not complain. It means you can make plans to do and be better and do so with patience, planning and preparation. It means you don't go out and get a Bentley on a ford budget!

As we enter this Christmas season perhaps we can do so with contentment and gratitude. Debt is no way to enter and leave this great season. Instead why not count all of the great gifts you already have been given this year, the tangible and the unseen. Focus on the gift of thanks with contentment. Count your blessings, you might be surprised at how rich you already are.

This was our Thanksgiving wreath. Each day our family wrote something on our cut out hands that we were thankful for and eventually filled our wreath in. It still hangs today.

Remember. "True empowerment comes through stewardship!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


In this world of more, more, more, it's refreshing to come across a book and website that encourages "gratitude".  Both of these written by "Ann Voskamp" have been life changing, so I decided to spotlight them. Part of stewardship is "gratitude" which leads to giving. May these readings be life changing for you as well. Enjoy the link!

Please note that soft music will begin playing as soon as you access the site, so you may want to turn down your volume a little...

Also I am spotlighting the book entitled " One thousand gifts" by Ann Voskamp. Read and be blessed.

Happy Thanks"giving"!

Remember. "True empowerment comes through stewardship!"

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Great gifts on the cheap

As promised here are a few gift giving ideas that won't put such a dent in your budget and leave you in debt until next year. Many of us have talents and ideas that would make a great gift. Here we go:

Are you a poet? Why not give your poems as gifts. Laminate them at your local business supply store and maybe add a ribbon for a special touch. Your gift of words might just be what someone needs to here this season.

Do you love to bake? Consider baking a batch of cookies or whatever and give them as gifts to family and friends. To add a special touch include your recipe for the recipient.

Are you a business owner? Give away samples if possible whether tangible or a service. This can also be a great promotion never know!

Ornaments are priceless gifts and they are fun to make. You can customize them for the individual. This can also be a great family tradition where everyone can sit and take part in the ornament making process.

One of my personal favorite gifts to give comes from Avon. Right around this time I start purchasing my pocket size lotions, lip balms and hand sanitizers. They make the perfect gifts because they fit into most small purses. They range anywhere from .69 cents to $1.00, I add pretty silver ribbons or bows and the ladies love these.

I have family and friends that make homemade jellies and jams. Why not give these as gifts? Recycle those glass jars and of course add a pretty ribbon and you have a winner! Make sure to include the flavor of your jam.

What about homemade soap powder?  I have an awesome recipe that's easy to make and everyone loves it.  If you want the recipe you can email me and I'll send it to you! I use my recycled glass jars, fill them with soap powder, add the ribbon and the amount of usage and then listen to the rave reviews!

Again we all have talents or things we love to do. Why not tap into that talent and let it work for you this Christmas.

In addition to tangible gifts there are other forms of gift giving. How about acts of service? At most it will cost you some time. Does someone you love need a babysitter gift? Why not give a couple a break from the kids. Create a gift certificate that entitles them to a certain amount of babysitting hours. This will be the best gift ever! Trust me I know, a great friend gave me this gift for my birthday and I loved it, loved it, loved it. Did I mention I loved this gift?

Does your spouse need a break? How about a 3-5 day (do whatever you want to do) pass. He or she can do whatever they want to do in or out of the house. If you have children, the giver will be responsible for the kids for those days.

There are so many acts of service that can be given and appreciated for Christmas. Why not try it out and see what works?

If you search you can find all sorts of good buys before the season. A couple of years ago, I found the nicest coffee mugs at the dollar store. I filled them with different types of candy, hard, chocolate etc, brought some shrink wrap (added touch), tied my signature bow and "presto" they made the best gifts. More importantly, I enjoyed making the gifts and seeing the finished product, the smile on the faces.

Do you have a digital camera? Take a family portrait, print the pictures out yourself and frame them in the magnetic frames. These make great gifts because they can go right on the fridge. This works especially well if you need to give updated pictures of children.

One year I remember receiving home grown spices. What a nice gift to give anyone who cooks.

There are so many unique ways to gift give on a budget, I could do many more posts. This post was just to get the ball rolling and get your imagination going. Christmas is a time of giving, but, after it's over we have to keep on living....without gift giving debt that is.

As for the children, why not start a tradition of giving to those they don't know. There are many ways to serve in your community. Why not go to a place where there are homeless people and pass out blankets, fruit, or sandwiches, this Christmas? Who says giving has to be done to only those we know? Just something to ponder.

If you have any creative gift giving ideas, that don't cost a fortune, we would love to hear from you. Chime in.

Remember. "True empowerment comes through stewardship!'  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Christmas is coming soon!

Happy October to you all! Can you believe Christmas is almost here? As much as I love the holidays around this time of the year, it seems that this is the time getting into debt is at an all time high. Lots of people spend a ton of money that they don't have, in the name of "Christmas". Children grow up with a "here's what I want for Christmas" mentality, along with a list to match. Family and friends are making a list and checking it twice, trying to figure out what to get that's nice.

Am I against gift giving? Of course not, however, I am not an advocate of going into debt, which can ultimately lead to despair. How many people are still paying on last years Christmas debt? Is there a solution to this madness? There is one and we can all be merry!

If giving gifts is a big deal for you, why not start preparing now? Who says a gift has to come wrapped in a box anyway?

Stay tuned to my next post of gift items and ideas that don't cost a ton and won't put you into debt.

*Remember. "True empowerment comes through stewardship!"