Here I am 3.5 minutes into my workout and I am ready to be d-o-n-e! Are you kidding me – we are still only in the warm-up?! I had better keep going or be completely humiliated by not getting through the warm-up. At 5 minutes I am breathing harder and feel moisture rising on my forehead, my feet are hurting, and I can feel my left hip telling me it is awake and not happy. Now I REALLY want to quit.

It seems that getting started is the hardest part whether it's exercising or any other task that isn't a great deal of fun. Do you find this to be true? 

How about your prayer life. It is so easy to be too busy to set aside time for prayer. When you start are you trying hard to get it over with? Just get through a couple minutes of all the “God bless” and “Please help us with” and then you want to jump up and go do something else. 

My body is yelling at me that it is SO uncomfortable. I make it through to my first “intensity level of 9” interval and go back to an “intensity level of 6” to get a breather.

Stay in prayer for a few more minutes and you start looking at the short comings in you life which brings aches and pains to your mind and spirit. Your spirit is yelling that it is SO uncomfortable, plowing up the fallow ground. But you persevere and find yourself asking Him to change your heart; to make it like His. 

Picking up my intensity minute by minute I make it to the 10 minute mark where I can back off to a 6 again. Hey, I'm feeling pretty good. My mind feels a little less fuzzy. I'm breathing hard, but can it be? Am I actually enjoying the deep breathing? 

Oh, the breather of finding His part in this. We cannot change ourselves; He must make us like Him if we are to be of any use to Him in His kingdom. Then back to digging in - “Am  I willing to be like You, Lord?” 

The sweat is now dripping down my face and I feel like I can do this. I think I can get through another set. Now I feel the power – I know I can get through another set of intervals. Getting my breath at   another “intensity level 6” I am feeling good. Raise it up a notch to a 7, then an 8. 

Sweat pouring off me and breathing hard, my feet are not happy, but my hip has quieted down. I'm moving up to a 9 then breaking through to an intensity level of 10. I'm DYING! But I can do this for just 1 minute. YES! Backing off to a 5 for cool down, then collapse for a rest.

Jesus said that if we are to be like Him we must take up our cross daily. That means dying to self everyday, all day long. Not having your way, but submitting to God's will for your life. Ugh, I'm DYING! Maybe you can't have something that you really want.  Do you have any unforgiveness in your heart? Maybe you are not used to submitting to your husband. Are you just plain tired and want to give up? Whatever painful thought comes to your mind, please, dear sister, submit it to God, repent of all selfishness, resolve to do His will and lean on the Holy Spirit for strength. He will give you peace, joy and strength to follow the leading of His Spirit. You can collapse and rest in His Spirit.

Bless and be blessed today!

Shopping sales at different grocery stores can be cost effective, but stressful. Finding a great buy on an item that is used by your family is very satisfying and rewarding. You must be careful, however, to make sure that the sale is a great deal. At one grocery store they may have a sale of buy one get one free and you have a coupon. WOW! What a deal! Unless a comparable item costs even less than your “great sale” at a different store or coming from a different source.

This brings me to a good question: How many stores are too many? If a bargain hunter spends hours upon hours looking up sales, then hours upon hours finding and cutting coupons, then hours upon hours going from store to store is it worth all the trouble? That is completely up to each individual. I found that I was spending way too much time looking for bargains only to be disappointed in the coupons not matching up just right. My solution has been to go to Aldi for my main shopping. Then I go to one other store for the items I can't get there. This other grocery store takes coupons and I look for sales and coupons that match up. Another thing to keep in mind is that the store brand often costs the same or less than the name brand on sale with a coupon match, thus saving you a great deal of time.

 I also go to a warehouse store such as Sam's Club or Costco once every month or two. You need to be careful about going to these stores as some things are priced much higher than a regular grocery store, believe it or not. I like to buy soaps, disposable items, cheese, nuts, dried fruit, spices, and some snacks from the warehouse store.  

Another source for buying groceries is a co-op with other moms. We make most of our bread products ourselves. We get our wheat from the co-op then grind it when we need it. We also get raw sugar, various dried beans, and sometimes frozen fruit from this source. We can make a very healthy loaf of bread for less than $1, as opposed to  paying $3 or more for a good loaf of bread from the store that is full of preservatives and other stuff I don't want to feed my family.

Some things you can buy in bulk when they are on sale and store the abundance. Such as; canned goods, pasta, grain, cereals, and frozen foods if you have freezer space.  But don't get caught up in storing too much, as I have. Then I ended up throwing away bottles of ketchup and jars of mayonnaise that were out of date.

Following these guidelines will help you to be a blessing to your family.

Let me know about your favorite way to find grocery bargains.

Our husbands' health and well being are in our hands. He will thrive and flourish with our support and encouragement. He will wither and die with constant nagging. If a man is consistently told that he is weak, he will be weak. If a man is consistently told that he is strong he will become stronger. I have heard many wives complain that their husband will not lead, then turn around and tell him that he is wrong about this and wrong about that. He makes a decision and she tears him down for that decision. She doesn't like what he wants to do and she voices her opinion time and time and time again. That, my dear, is called nagging. Do you want to be a nag? I know that I don't.

Why is it that so many times a wife is going to church and prays for her husband to be interested in the things of God, only to be a drag on him when does turn his life around?

Example: Darla went to church. She wanted her husband to go with her. Stu was selfish, a drunk, and worse. Through out their marriage she would ask him to go with her to church. Sometimes he would go when their daughter, Sarah, was in a church production. Usually, though, he would tell Sarah, “Honey, I am so bad that the roof would fall in if I went to church. You don't want the roof to fall in on everybody, do you?” Even though they didn't make much money, they sent Sarah to a private Christian school so she would get the best education they could provide. Sarah grew up and moved in with her boyfriend.

Stu was a farmer who sold his hay to some new neighbors. These neighbors were Christians who invited him to a fellowship dinner and church meeting. Well, he wanted to get these people to be his customers, so he accepted their invitation. He ate and felt obligated to stay and listen to the message out of politeness. The Lord touched his heart. He couldn't shake off the feeling that he heard the truth and he needed to hear more. He went back to the meeting the next Sunday. Within a few months he gave his heart to the Lord. He was completely changed. Darla didn't like the change that took place in her husband. She wanted him to straighten up, but not to that extent.

If she chooses to uplift her husband, give him support, and praise God for the change in him he will continue to grow. If, however, she nags him about his wanting to go to church all the time and constantly points out his flaws that will drag him down.

Dear wife, please consider your words and let them be words of encouragement and strength to your husband. Let him know that you believe in him and in his ability to be the godly husband our Lord has called him to be.

Also, learn to be content with what he provides for you and your household. Maybe he doesn't make $150,000 year. That's ok. Let him know that God will provide for all your needs. Then trust God and your husband to bring in what you need to work with. The apostle said that we are to be content with food and clothing. Do you really need two brand new cars? Check out my section called A Penny Saved... for more help with money.

Be blessed and be a blessing.

"The joy of the Lord is my strength."
Joy is something we receive from the Holy Spirit.  We have joy in the easy times and in the hard times, because, as God's children, the Holy Spirit is always with us.

Happiness, however, is a state of being happy.  It's the feeling we get when nice things happen to us.  Get it?  Happen/Happy?  We should not strive to be "happy" all the time, but look instead for the steadfast joy of Jesus to fill our every day!

Hope this video blesses you as it did me.  REMEMBER: Seek the source of joy!