living on pb & j

Ordinary moms living on Prayer, the Bible, and Jesus!


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Enjoying the Little Blessings

Thanksgiving is coming up for those of you in America and I know, I’m getting a jump start on the”blessings” and “give thanks” posts that will undoubtedly be inundating your reader feeds and email inboxes. But as I’m sure at least one post will tell you, you can’t just be thankful one day a year. It’s an every day thing.

What I wanted to tell you is just a simple little reminder though. Don’t just count the big blessings. Count the little ones too. You know, the big blessing of a healthy family, a loving spouse, a Bible in your language, a wonderful church, your salvation, etc. Those are the ones everyone counts right off the top. And that’s great. But what about the little ones? Like, indoor plumbing. (Or is that a big one??) Or a day of homeschooling where no one cries? A front or near-to-the-front parking spot at Walmart? I tell you, if you only focus on the big blessings, you will be missing out on the little ones. I think it’s through the little blessings that we are reminded the most that God does love us and cares about everything in our lives. Even the little things.

I had a small blessing while out shopping with my Mom this week. Do you ever just feel like you’re life is in a rut? You do the same things every day. You wear a lot of the same things (admit it, most of us have that one comfy
outfit that is our go-to outfit for days we aren’t expecting to see another living soul with a judgmental eye). Things are just monotonous. That’s every day life. Sometimes though, you just need something to break the monotony don’t you. That was me. So as my Mom and I were walking through Kohl’s one day this week with a 20% off coupon burning a hole in our pocket, we hit every department’s clearance corner. Now I hardly ever find anything in the home goods department but I look anyway. Never know right?? And I saw this:

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I added the floating bear and smiley face on the sun. I wish it had that smiley face because that would be totally awesome! So I’m standing in Kohl’s looking at this end-cap of miscellaneous mugs, I spot this little guy. I think yellow just screams happy. I don’t know if you can see it, but it says “Beautiful Day” on it. It has birds and some fluffy clouds and rolling green meadows. The whole inside and handle are yellow! I picked that little guy up and flipped it upside down to see the cost and to my surprise it was on CLEARANCE! Yes! *Christian happy dance* It was only $1.99 and we had that extra 20% off! Now, I know all you practical ladies are out there shaking your heads and saying to yourselves, “Yeah but did she really NEED that mug?” Of course I didn’t! We are probably all guilty of having a bazillion mugs in our cupboards. But to be honest, it seemed just perfect for breaking up my daily routine and monotony.

I didn’t walk into the store looking for anything special. I didn’t expect God to really care that I felt things had gotten a little dry in my life. I FULLY believe He sat that little mug there just for me. He knows I love yellow. He knows I like happy looking things. And He knows I’m a near-broke mother of six, homeschooling mom who refuses to pay full price for most anything. Haha! Can I get a witness on that!?

To me, that mug was a little blessing. I don’t drink coffee but I do drink milk, tea, and hot chocolate, and this has become my go-to drink container. In fact, I just took a drink out of it after that last sentence! 🙂 It makes me smile. My husband just shakes his head at me, but I’m okay with that! I can take the judgmental head shaking!

So look around you today. Don’t wait till Thanksgiving comes. Start TODAY looking for those little things. Maybe it will be the stain treatment working on your favorite shirt, or your kids actually liking something you make for dinner. The Bible says that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” – James 1:17a So everything GOOD. Did you see that? Good AND Perfect. So not every gift will be perfect. But it will at least be good. 🙂 And that’s all the little things too! So tell me what some of your little blessings are. I guarantee you will find some if you just take the time to pay attention! Remember to say “Thanks!” to your heavenly Father Who loves you enough to even orchestrate the seemingly little things in your life! And now I’m off to refill my happy mug! Woo!

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How WE Unwind

It’s time to relax! We all need to! We clean, change, cook, repeat… all day! We are happy to do it, but sometimes we just need to recharge! So, a few of us have shared what we do…

  • Kelsey ~ Getting out of the house for a bit is what really re-energizes me! Whether it’s browsing Marshall’s &Target, or even grocery shopping. I feel like a brand new person when I’ve had an hour or two out of the house. I rarely spend money on these trips, and if I do, it’s usually some cute little clearance item I found for less than $10. So that’s my inexpensive way to unwind. 🙂
  • Joy ~ A few evenings a week, I soak in the tub! After the baby is asleep, I’ll grab a book I’m reading and take as long as I want in there! It is SO relaxing! And, another thing I love to do is use this homemade, inexpensive sugar scrub on my feet. Click here for the recipe! It has kept my feet soft all summer long!
  • Tascha ~ I also enjoy getting out of the house for a little while. It is not a regular occurrence, but I enjoy thrift-store shopping and can come home with new outfits for the girls for less than $5-6 most times… and once this summer John watched the kiddos so a friend and i could go shopping together! it was soo much fun. Whenever I am able to leave the house for a couple of hours, I always come home with a renewed energy to tackle SOMETHING-be it an entire room or just get clutter picked up. During the school year our church has Ladies Meeting once a month and that is uplifting-getting to spend some time just chattin’ with whomever is sitting near you and hearing a devotional and eating some yummy food I did not cook!
  • Rachel ~ I don’t know about you all but I LOVE pictures! So, a couple of nights a week after I put the kids to bed, I grab a Dr. Pepper & hop on the computer to organize & edit pictures. This is such a relaxing time for me! I chuckle at all the fun we’ve had & enjoy the sweet memories we’ve made during the day or on our day trips with Daddy. It also helps me remember how blessed I am to have the family God has given me. And besides the cost of the Dr. Pepper – it’s free! 🙂
  • Heather ~ I love to go anywhere by myself.  I like to go to the stores that no one else in my family likes.  Those include Ross, Goodwill, & Hobby Lobby.  I don’t usually spend money either…except maybe a stop at Starbucks 🙂
  • Jennifer ~ I don’t take nearly the time for myself like I should. But, anytime I can either go grocery shopping, thrift store shopping, the library or a yard sale by myself for a couple hours, I take that time to enjoy the quiteness of the moment.  I love, in the evening, to read after the kids go to bed.  But, even in the midst of the busy-ness of the day, if I can have a nice smelling candle lit (the happy smell and cheerful flicker will lift your mood instantly) and some calming nature music playing in the background, that helps to quiet my spirit throughout the day.  Pretty simple, but it works for me! ♥
  • Heidi ~ I too LOOOOOVVVVEEEE to get out of the house. I’m thankful that at least twice a week either on my honey’s day off ill run some errands or one evening a week I walk across to my neighbor’s house (a girl I grew up with and go to church with…some of you know Nikki Gardner, her sister;)…we chat & have coffee. I also love to read. I can lay in my bed and read all night if I can…ha!
  • Alicia ~ Things can be very hectic and busy at our house. We are always on the go. So, my favorite unwinding days are days that we call “pajama days”. We don’t get dressed and we watch movies and just hang out together. We hide the van, ignore the phone, and close all the blinds so people will think we are gone! I enjoy those days to let me just breathe and slow down and not have to think very much and just snuggle my kids. We also enjoy going to a park as a family. Jimmy and I sit and snuggle and watch the kids play. That is very relaxing for us.
  • Niki ~ Mine are pretty similar to many others….my basic unwind at the end of the day is to get on the computer and browse for a little while….FB, Pinterest, something fun 🙂  I enjoy reading and a hot bath, but the bathroom is between the kids’ bedrooms, and if I go in there and try to take a bath while they’re in bed, it seems to always wake them up, and I end up more frustrated than relaxed! For something a little bigger, I really enjoy just being by myself – going to the library or a little shopping (even window shopping), going to Caribou Coffee!
  • Jeri Lynn ~ Before I even had children, I found myself needing to unwind from my busy schedule. I spoke to an older lady that I respected who encouraged me to take time to relax with a hot bath. I tried it, and it became a relaxing routine remedy. Add a favorite drink.. Add a book..  In very challenging times, I’ve found that I must listen to Christ-honoring music that points my mind to Him instead of my weakness. As a mother of nine, “Quiet. Alone. Time.” are precious words. This usually occurs when all are sleeping, which time gets later as teens near adulthood. Leaving the house to browse a store or library is enjoyable when planned ahead. Emergency unwinding may include my perceptive husband realizing it would benefit the entire world for him to take everyone to the park after I’ve been on solo duty for 13 non-stop hours for days! 😉 And he is a fun Dad who is usually ready for an adventure at any moment. It is a good thing to figure out what helps you unwind that you may be able to serve with a refreshed spirit.

And there you have it! Relax!