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!'