Welcome To My Refuge Spot

Welcome Friends to my blog about single motherhood and living for God. I hope that you find my thoughts and musings thought provoking and in alignment with God's word. Thank you for visiting and please feel free to share your comments and pass the word along to others who you feel could be blessed!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Frugal Friday- Ways I Saved 100$ Last Year

In keeping momentum with Crystal at Biblicalwomanhood's Frugal Friday post; I wanted to share simple ways that saved $100 last year. When I read her post I couldn't think of anything that I did because it seems as though expenses kept rising in my house. As I was thinking, it became more and more apparent that I remain focused on my financial goals this year. One goal I desire to have is to be more consistent in tracking my expenses so that I can see the savings. I believe as I start to see the savings on paper that I will feel more motivated and encouraged as I am feeling today. So without further ado- My list.

Ways I Saved $100 last year

  1. Learning how to style my daughters hair. I am not trying to be funny, but African American hair needs more maintenance. I learned the art of braids during the summer and only go to the salon once a month for my girls.
  2. Eating on the Kids menu when dining out with friends. I found that if I would be nice enough to ask the server, they would let me order off the kids menu when I did eat out.
  3. Drinking more water by the gallon and less by the bottle. Why did I not think to recycle water bottles from the gallon jugs???
  4. Bringing snacks to work. I just keep a supply of snacks at work which in the end keeps me from the vending machine.
  5. Shopping consignment and 75%+ clearance. Also God has blessed that because I am so small, when people gain weight I am the first person they give clothes to!! The same with my children. I give their clothes away and the Lord blessed the cycle to continue.
  6. EBAY!!! There have been major purchases I bought off of eBay which saved me well over 100$ I got a really cool bread maker for only $10. A brand new TREO Palm for $135. And I could go on for days.
  7. Coupons, Rebates, and Samples!!!
  8. Pot-lucking with friends for dinners.
  9. Taking advantage of the reduce price lunches at school, and re- training my kids not to be such picky eaters. I spent tons of money making lunches according to their eating habits, but now I am like, lunch is paid for its cheaper you eat it or you go hungry. It may sound harsh but I know its healthy and they needed to get to the point where they appreciated a hot meal. ( I know I will get some comments on that one:)
  10. Less gift giving. I learned to tap in my creative side and spend less money buying gifts for everyone out of obligation. I found that most people understood and were happy with what I made.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Lighter Side of Me

graphic from art.com
My much older godly single mama twin, (separated before conception) Persuaded was hosting another interesting meme. I figured I would play along and lighten my mood since today I wasn't feeling very creative and am falling into weekend mode a little early. So here we go with all the self exposure. Oh and did I mention that the name of her blog is Tomato Soup Cake if you visit it you will see that the name fits the gal!

Nine Random Things About Me

  • I love silly socks with very eclectic patterns. I will wear them proudly and dare anyone to laugh.

  • I once embarrassed myself participating in a beauty pageant during college. And it was in front of my peers, classmates, and parents who drove 2hrs to support me. I gave a very stupid answer to a very easy question. And I do mean stupid- just ask my mom!

  • I worked for NASA as a graduate intern and hated it!

  • I am horrible at 3rd grade math- just ask my daughter!

  • My Mom is the coolest- She doesn't play though, but she has bible wisdom that has rarely been wrong.

  • I am very afraid of bridges, I cry when I have to drive over them!

  • I was in labor on my birthday with my oldest daughter- she decided she did not want to share but to wait till the next day. I still don't celebrate my birthday because I am always trying to plan hers!
  • I don't like eggs at all!
  • I have been so blessed and encouraged by blogging and by every person who leaves a comment on my blog. Your thoughtfulness makes a big difference in my day many times.
Also I tag anyone who wants to play and I tag AnnaS, Terry, and Rosheeda. You're it! Yes, you. YOU! The cute one behind the keyboard!( stolen from persuaded)
Here are the Rules:
Link to the person who tagged you;
Leave a comment on their blog so that their readers can visit yours;
Post the rules on your blog;
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog;
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post;
Include links to their blogs;
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Way Less Traveled

the way home graphic from art.com
Matthew 7: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

I was reading this verse today and over the past few weeks I have been working on an article for single young people about the over all happy ending when you take the road less traveled. I am not a big, big poetry fan, but I had to memorize the Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken(below) in the 6th grade, and it has always stuck with me, but more so now than then. It is a testament of my faith in God and living for him, walking his path under the guidance of his direction. Lately I have written about faith, and disappointments and such, but in all that I have been faced with I know that my decision to have peace with God's will places me on the path less traveled. I know that being a single mom really is something of a choice that I made earlier in my life to take the road that is most traveled, following the crowd, living the life of the times but I thank God everyday for pulling me off that path and leading me down the more narrow path which has been nothing but bliss and peace for me. There is a saying " The road to hell is paved with good intentions", well if that's the case, then I will just take the one less traveled, the one that is narrow, the one that comes with a guide to hold my hand through the way, and to carry me when I can't walk and the one that has made all the difference in my life! Be blessed and encouraged today!-smfg
The Road Not Taken
by, Robert Frost
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tag I'm It!

My blogging buddy Terry from Ornaments of Grace tagged me on her blog yesterday in a cute and interesting book meme and you know what I really had to think on this one! I don't read too many self help books because in my eyes they all have the same message, and I read mostly history, fiction, and books related to my occupation but I have read some that I thought would make me seem a little worthy for this wonderful game! Thanks Terry!

One book that changed your life: Get Over Yourself by Tanya Pinkins a soap actress that went from Hollywood to Welfare and rose from the ashes!
One book that you have read more than once: What to Expect When Expecting- as if I forgot the first time:)
One book you would want on a deserted island: My Bible
One book that made you laugh: Any Shel Silverstien book when I was a kid, whichI have now passed them on to my daughers.
One book that made you cry: The Rapture and Fox's Book of Martyrs- Don't remember who they are by, but I just knew I didn't want to be lost when God comes back, and I cried at the faith and steadfastness of those who endured true persecution for Christ. ( And yes I know that's two books, sorry:)
One book that I wish had been written: How to Walk Correctly and Pain Free in Heels for Dummies :)
One book that you wish had never been written: Harry Potter
One book you are currently reading: Powerful Prayers for Your Mighty Warrior by Lylah Ledner! Its a great e- book for married and single women, her link is on my favorites!
One book you have been meaning to read: Emotional Purity by Heather Paulsen- I wish this was written when I was younger, but I want to read it so that I can raise my daughers to embrace emotional purity because I feel this foundation will help them fight fleshly pulls to impurity! Her blog is also on my favorites.

I would like to pass the torch on to Llyah, Persuaded and Just Me if you are reading this then TAG you are IT!!!!

Dignity During Disappointment

Psalm 31: 1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness. graphic from art.com

Who among us has never faced disappointment? I am pretty sure that almost everyone that is able to read this has been disappointed sometime in your lifetime. How did you deal with or accept your disappointment? Did you cry, whine, pout, blame, point fingers, stereotype, or worse throw a tantrum?

Webster's defines disappoint as: to fail to meet the expectation or hope of. And yep, that is exactly what it is, but how is it supposed to feel? More importantly how are we supposed to react when we are disappointed? I ask because lately I have been studying my 6year old. She is a perfectionist in the making, and her tolerance for disappointment is very low. She sighs heavily, throws up and drops her hands and arms in disgust, and just pitches an all out fit sometimes. It doesn't matter if its as little as she can't line up all of her letters evenly or as big as punishment she gets mad and just does not like to be disappointed. So I got to thinking and I thought about the post I wrote, "You are What You Eat" and although she is a child and this is what children do, what may be the type of examples I may have or still may show her when I am faced with disappointment? I had to admit, I have not always maintained dignity. Why dignity? Well the verse above states "let me never be ashamed" and the definition of dignity is the very opposite of being ashamed.

A godly woman who has dignity according to Webster carries the following traits, she is the quality or state of being worthy, honored, or esteemed and she maintains a formal reserve or seriousness of manner, appearance, or language, which is how he has called us to be according to his word. Certainly she will not behave ashamedly when disappointment arises. She will remain calm and she will handle her disappointment in a way that is pleasing to God. I say Lord Help me! There will be times when we will be disappointed, but we must trust in the still small voice of God and like I said yesterday when we pray with the mindset of him answering according to his will, our disappointment will not be as hard, or very well be non-existent. I found that we are only disappointed when things don't happen the way we want them to happen and we should want things to be according to his will.

Why is this so important, well as godly women we must exercise dignity during our disappointment because we don't want to raise a generation of children who murmer and complain at the blessings of God's will. We want to raise a generation of children who remain calm in God's will, understanding that God's will is a blessing because he is preventing us from making a complete mess or shipwreck of a situation even when we can't comprehend that we will do so. I thank him for my disappointments because I know that they are mine and not his. My only goal is not to be a disappointment to God and others and to teach my daughters the same. Be blessed and stay encouraged-smfg.

Monday, January 7, 2008

God's Will Be Done

Luke 1:37-38 For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.
believe graphic from art.com
I wanted to take time this morning to encourage us all to remember those prayers that you have before God. Over the past few weeks I have heard several messages on faith, and standing firm on the response that you receive from God in relation to your requests before him and I am finding that we also have to have the attitude that whatever your will, be it unto me Lord. God's will may or may not be the answer that we are desiring, but we must go into prayer with the conviction in our hearts that we want His answer according to his will, and his word. When we have this attitude we become powerful. We become powerful over the strongholds of doubt, fear, uncertainty, impatience, pride, and last but not least, human reasoning.
We become so powerful that our family will see our prayer, faith,and humility to his will and we can pass this power on to them by precept and example. I remember last week I was not feeling well and my oldest daughter asked to pray for me. I was touched and inspired as she prayed a strong prayer believing that God would be touched by my infirmities. Prayer and belief go hand in hand. It is our most powerful weapon and I continuously ask God to keep my stockpile full.

How is your prayer and belief life? More importantly how is your submission to his will concerning your prayer request? What message are you sending to the little eyes that are watching you as you wait for his answer and the little ears that hear you pray?
Be blessed and Stay encouraged!