Saved by Smart Planning

Today I took my girls to Sea World with some friends. We loaded up my awesome van–even took my friend and her daughter–and drove down to San Diego. We had an amazing time.

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I have learned a lot taking these small trips to fun places with my girls and I feel like I have finally got a good system down for saving time, money, and sanity when doing trips with kids. Here are a few of my tips:

1. Carpool – save on gas, split parking, and enjoy the time with another adult!! (That is something so precious in this stage of life). I LOVE my Toyota Sienna van and we recently put the two big girls in the back row together. They love it, and it easily frees up one of the captain’s chairs and our removable 8th seat for guests if and when we need it.

2. Pack your own food – I treated myself and my friend to a Starbucks for the drive, but other than that purchase I spend $0 today (not including gas). I pack lots of snacks, lunch, more snacks, water, and I ALWAYS bring my own treats for incentives. I like to occasionally reward good behavior with a little treat and they come in handy for unexpected wait times (such as our 1 hour wait today in the hot sun to redeem our passes! yikes!). I also try to pack the kid’s favorite meals and snacks to let this day be all about easy fun. Their favorite snacks are fruit snacks, pirate booty, raisins, freeze dried fruit, and pouches. They love lollipop so I usually throw in a dumb dumb lollipop for them.

3. Along the same lines – Pack your own treats! Like I said, little treats can be great incentives for unpredictable wait times or to reinforce good behavior in a new environment! I don’t know about you, but there is also something about being at any kind of amusement park that draws you in to want to spend money. I find that when I know I’ve packed a few fun treats of my own I can still give in to a little guilty pleasure without spending the extra money!

4. Stay organized – Save your sanity! I might look like a crazy person in this attempt to save my sanity, but I pack 4 separate bags. This keeps me organized and I know exactly where everything is. I am never digging around in my bag to find things and it saves me time at the park. I have a backpack for diapers and change of clothes. I love this Dakine backpack. It is originally designed to be a laptop backpack, but I use it as my travel diaper bag. I put a changing pad in the laptop pocket and use the other pockets for chapstick, diaper cream, hand sanitzer, and other easy to access necessities. I fill the main pouch with diapers, wipes, and a change of clothes for each girl.

I pack a small travel cooler with air temperature snacks (food that doesn’t need to be cooled). I like this small bag by Thermos. It is hearty so the snacks don’t crumble or flatten and it has an outside pocket where I store napkins, wipes, and hand sanitizer to clean hands before snacking.

I pack the kid’s favorite snacks that I mentioned above and I always pack a bar for myself and Hanna. I also like to pack something fun to eat like popcorn for myself as well as a ready-to-go protein meal replacement packet that I can add to water and mix in my shaker bottle later in the afternoon.

I hang my cooler bag on my stroller with my handy Mom-hook.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my pack-it cooler. It is so easy to just pull it out of the freezer morning of and “pack it” with my food that needs to stay cold. Because the bag itself is insulated, I don’t have to add bulky ice packs. I fill the pack-it with our sandwiches

I transfer my valuables to a small backpack. Backpacks are a convenient and easy way to carry around valuables at a theme park versus a purse.

Although this is four separate bags to keep track of, by keeping each bag fairly small I’m able to only access each bag when I need it and easily carry my valuables bag with me at all times. It keeps me sane to know where everything is and never have to haul a large bag around.

5. Take advantage of discount passes or tickets! I took advantage of Sea World’s free teacher pass for my admission and I got Ellie a free preschool pass for her admission. (The preschool pass offer is now expired in San Diego). So our visit today was completely free! I love love love doing things for free or a discounted price. We had to redeem our passes by a certain date (which is why we went today), but it was totally worth it. Now we get to go the rest of the year! My free teacher pass even came with 3 additional one day admissions!

6. Bring your own water bottle – Most parks I visit (Disneyland, Sea World, Zoo) will fill up your bottles with ice cold water for free. Another great savings!

7. Dress your kids in matching outfits – I love to match my kids, but it has a dual purpose. Not only does it look cute, but it is functional. I look for clothes, not kids, when we are in crowds. It helps me to easily spot where both my big girls are since I now have a third little one in tow.

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8. Have fun! Remember, not matter what you did your best. You can’t plan for everything, but you can plan to have a good attitude no matter what! Enjoy your day with your sweeties and make some memories.

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I hope you enjoyed these tips on saving money while having fun. I would LOVE to hear your tips for saving time, money, and your sanity when you travel to theme parks with your children. Please share in the comments!

 Rach Signature48

Getting Fit

I love working out. For me it is a stress release, a way to challenge myself, and a way to enjoy being active. But I think you have to keep the right attitude about it. Working out, exercise, activity is something to enjoy. And it is important to enjoy it in balance. You don’t want it to consume you or take over your life. So find your own balance. My balance: I have been trying to incorporate running (which I am growing to love) into circuit training. So some of my outdoor running is being converted to treadmill running. Here’s a workout I found and adapted. Hope you enjoy it.  

Arm and Cardio Workout
This is a gym workout is best suited for people who lift weights regularly and know correct form. If you don’t belong to a gym, try to do some other type of run/pushup/situp/plyo circuit in this style.
Workout: 3 circuits (about 10 minutes each) with 1 mile treadmill run/walk in between
Repetition of each set: If you are trying to bulk up do 10 reps with heavier weight.
If you are trying to maintain and stay lean and fit do a little lighter with 12-15 reps.
(Time: about 1 hour depending on run/walk times)

Warmup: .5-1 Mile Treadmill Run/Walk
Circuit 1: Repeat 3x
Lat Pull Down (substitution: pull ups)
Chest Press (substitution: bench press or pushups)
Burpees
.5-1 Mile Treadmill Run/Walk (Water)
Circuit 2: Repeat 3x
Bicep Curl
Overhead Tricep Extension
1 Minute Plank
.5-1 Mile Treadmill Run/Walk (Water)
Circuit 3: Repeat 3x
Chest fly (standing or bench)
One arm row (substitution: seated row machine)
Jumping Jacks (with or without small weights)
Cool Down Stretch (Water)

Most importantly, have fun! Push yourself hard enough to get a good work out. If you want to get stronger, you have to push a little bit. But don’t kill yourself or hurt yourself. Drink enough water. Take breaks when needed. This workout is a guide. Adapt it to your needs.

Whats your weekly workout routine? Have you found your balance? Or what would you like to improve? Write your thoughts or questions here. Us Weissers have all had experience in many different types of fitness activities: from high intensity college sports training, to pilates, to cross fit, to tae kwondo, to running, to physical therapy, etc… We have immersed ourselves in many different things. And we all love being active.

Some of My Workout Essentials:


If you need pictures of exercises here are a few:

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1. Lat Pull Down             2. Chest Press           3 Chet Flys                        4. One arm Row

Bethany Signature48

Courage & Faith

I loved reading the Divergent series. Today, I re-watched the movie in preparation to see Insurgent in the theater!  If you haven’t read it or finished it the series, don’t worry, this post does not have any spoilers.
But, I will tell you that one of the main themes in this story is

COURAGE to overcome FEARS.

There are many life situations that call for courage: Standing up for what you believe in, Standing up for a friend, Taking Risks, Doing something out of your Comfort Zone, Moving to an unknown area or country, and the list goes on…

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When I need to face a challenge and need to choose to be brave or be deterred by the anxiety caused by a potentially uncomfortable situation, my best encouragement comes from the Bible. There are plenty of verses that talk about courage, but here are a few of my favorites…

“Be strong and courageous. Do no be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

“The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand…For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:10, 13

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”          1 Corinthians 16:13

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 

DOES YOUR FAITH GIVE YOU COURAGE?

If you haven’t read the Divergent series, I definitely recommend it! Check out this deal on Amazon!

This series includes “Four: A Divergent Collection: A companion volume to the worldwide bestselling Divergent series, told from the perspective of Tobias. “

I first heard about Jennie Allen about a month ago when I was introduced to IF:gathering. She is amazing! She is so passionate about Jesus and is so inspirational in the way she strives to live for Him and empower others to do the same!

Here is a little bit about her from her site…I don’t know about you, but she seems like she would be pretty fun to hang out with :)

“I have an awkward way with small talk- so I don’t.

Instead I love to gather deep kindred souls around food I didn’t cook, and I ask terribly intrusive questions. I wish that is how we were meeting.

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My name is Jennie. Look at all my cute people up there. That is most of my life sitting up there in that picture.

They are a whole big herd of strong personalities. I am a catalytic leader, risk taker type and then in God’s humor, I married a crazier more risky leader than me (Zac). Then somehow God thought it would be even more funny to give us 4 crazy strong risky dreamer kids. Even the one who grew in my heart instead of my tummy came hard wired to rule the world.

I love them… but I also love and believe in this generation of women. I am giving my life to see us spend our time here beautifully. I do that through writing, teaching, and leading the little dream in my soul, IF:Gathering.”

Jennie describes IF:Gathering like this…

“Our 2-day gathering each year brings together women from all over the world to humbly seek God and to equip them to better live out their callings. We seek to model, resource, & empower women …to wrestle with essential questions of faith like: IF God is real… THEN what?”

Jennie wrote a book called Restless: Because You Were Made for More. “Restless explores the fact that God has called each of us to do great things in His name, and then helps us discover what that might mean for each of us individually. Jennie says, ‘We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.'”

“Using her own story and that of women with whom she has walked through this process as examples, Jennie weaves in the story of Joseph the dreamer and how God used his threads to fit into the greater story of God. Untangling the threads of our lives and assembling them together in one place reveals a beautiful plan designed by the Creator Himself:

God’s Agenda + my threads + the need + the Holy Spirit = my purpose

And since living out our purpose is often filled with uncertainties Jennie addresses the doubts, fears, and challenges that hold women back from what they’ve been called to do. This repositioning of their lives is not a promise that all things will be perfect, or will go perfectly, but a promise that it will be the start of the best part of life—the part that completes what we were made for.”

Let’s read this together and become women of FAITH, COURAGE, & PURPOSE!

Where do you turn when you need courage? Do you feel restless to find your purpose?

Bekah Signature48

Tortilla Casserole-with a Healthy Flair

When your family feels like Mexican food and you have a busy day ahead of you…this casserole can be made ahead of time (even a day ahead)and baked right before dinner. This recipe is low fat and really delicious. Serve it with a green salad and some guacamole and salsa.

Tortilla Casserole-with a Healthy Flair
 
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When your family is craving Mexican food and you want an easy make ahead crowd pleaser, try this Tortilla Casserole and it will be a hit!
Author:
Recipe type: Casserole
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 can black beans, drained (optional for added protein)
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh corn
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 can or bottle (12-14 0z) enchilada sauce
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups cheddar or colby jack cheese shredded
Instructions
  1. Begin to brown the ground turkey in a large skillet.
  2. Add the chopped onion, garlic and red pepper and continue to cook until onion and pepper are soft and ground meat is cooked.
  3. Add the seasonings, corn and black beans and stir until blended.
  4. Mix the tomato sauce and enchilada sauce and add half of this sauce mixture to the browned meat and vegetables.
  5. Reserve remaining sauce to pour over top of casserole.
  6. In a PAM sprayed 9 by 13 pan, layer 6 corn tortillas, half the meat mixture, half the cheese. then layer the other 6 tortillas, half of the meat mixture, half of the cheese.
  7. Pour the remaining sauce over the top.
  8. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. (If you make this the day before, take out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature and bake 20-25 minutes or if cold, right from refrigerator you need to add 10-15 minutes more baking time.)

Ingredients
2 pounds ground turkey
1 large onion
1 red bell pepper
1 can black beans drained (optional for extra protein)
2 cups frozen or fresh corn
2 cloves garlic

½ teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 can or bottle (12-14 0z) enchilada sauce
12 corn tortillas
2 cups cheddar or colby jack cheese shredded

Begin to brown the ground turkey in a large skillet. Add the chopped onion, garlic and red pepper and continue to cook until onion, garlic and pepper are soft and ground meat is cooked. Add the seasonings, corn and black beans and stir until blended. Mix the tomato sauce and enchilada sauce and add half of this sauce mixture to the browned meat and vegetables. Reserve remaining sauce to pour over top of casserole. In a PAM sprayed 9 by 13 pan, layer 6 corn tortillas, half the meat mixture, half the cheese. then layer the other 6 tortillas, half of the meat mixture, half of the cheese. Pour the remaining sauce over the top. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbly. (If you make this the day before, take out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature and bake 20-25 minutes or if cold, right from refrigerator you need to add 10-15 minutes more baking time.)IMG_2110

This recipe was in our family’s original Baby Bear Stew Cookbook. You can read about the making of the Baby Bear Stew, Family Heritage Cookbook that has been sold for many years and contains the “FAMOUS WEISSER COOKIES” recipe on our previous Passion Perspective by clicking here. Any you can purchase your very own copy of the Baby Bear Stew Cookbook form our Shopify store.

Here is a picture of the old school cookbook that has tried and true favorites like today’s Tortilla Casserole.IMG_5597
Visit our shopify store to purchase your very own copy of our cookbook.

Check out a few of our other favorite Mexican recipes:

Mexican Summer Salad and Mexican Taco Cupcakes

Kerry Signature48

 

Easter Essentials

Easter day is approaching, so I wanted to to share a few fun suggestions for your Easter brunch and your Easter baskets.

Yummy Bunnies are a fun and healthy treat you can bring to any Easter celebration. It would even be a fun snack for the kids to make and eat at your party.

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All you need to do is make a quick trip to the grocery store for cuties, raisins, bananas, mini marshmallows, strawberries, shredded coconut, toothpicks and green food coloring.

For more details on how to assembly these “cutie” bunnies visit our Yummy Bunny post.

Our Baby Bear Stew cookbook is filled with tasty family recipes that will be sure to delight your Easter day guests. Buy one for yourself to prepare our yummy recipes and grab another as a hostess gift if you will be visiting someone’s house for brunch.

Visit our shopify store to get your copies!

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Below I have some great suggestions to fill your child’s Easter basket. All links are for Amazon so you can shop from the comfort of your home. (I know that is a lifesaver as a mom.)

AND when you shop from one of our links Growing Weisser makes a small percentage. Thank you!

I love to give my children books for holiday treats. This Easter book is one of my favorites. It presents the Easter story with great illustrations and simple words for children.

The Story of Easter

We also love this adorable fun dvd that teaches the Easter story using resurrection eggs. It’s called Miss Patty Cake’s Eggstravaganza.

Here are some other neat ideas to fill your child’s Easter basket with fun learning activities. I chose a variety of characters, but if your child fancies a different favorite just use the suggestions below the item to find a more suitable character for your child!

Matching Games

Stamp Set

Puzzles

Magnetic Dress Up Toys

Art Supplies such as this colorful sidewalk chalk set

What are your favorite Easter basket stuffers or foods for Easter brunch?

Rach Signature48

Love Does and Go Do Love

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LOVE
… such an enormous word. We can all relate to it. But what does it really mean?
What is your definition of love? How do you express your love? How do you feel loved? Do you just think about love, or do you act in love? Love is action. Love is words. Love is irreplaceable. Love is impacting. Love is powerful. Love can build up. Love reaches the depths. Love is simple. Love is worth it. Love is trust. Love is a force. Love changes things. “Love does”… Continue reading

Carrot Cake with a Healthy Twist

It has only been a few months since I realized how delicious carrot cake is! It is quite an interesting concept- carrots in a cake?? Who ever thought of that!? Now, you may be wondering, “How carrot cake can have a “healthy” twist- just because there are carrots in it doesn’t make it healthy.” Well, you would be absolutely right! But, what would you say if I told you this recipe takes out 75% of the oil amount- decreasing the calories by 1,560 and the fat amount by 126 grams- and replacing the oil with PUMPKIN! Yes, pumpkin!

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Not only does substituting the pumpkin for the oil make this cake a lot healthier, it also makes it so moist that I don’t think you will ever go back to using the full oil amount. Feeling a little iffy about this pumpkin switch…I guess you will just have to bake it (and eat it, of course) to believe it :)

This has become my husband’s favorite dessert, even with knowing the healthy substitute!!

What You Need:

3/4 Cup Brown Sugar

3/4 Cup Sugar

4 Eggs

2 Cups Flour

2 tsp Baking Soda

1 TBS Cinnamon

3/4 tsp Salt

1/4 cup Oil

1 cup + 1/4 cup Pumpkin

2 cups Grated Carrots

FROSTING

1/4 cup Butter

1/2 stick (1/2 cup) Cream Cheese

Scant 2 cups Powdered Sugar

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1 TBS Milk (Add more as needed)

The How-To:

1. Add all the ingredients except for the carrots into a kitchen aid bowl and mix. [Take out your butter and cream cheese to soften for the frosting]

2. Grate carrots. [If you have a newer Kitchen Aid, I would highly recommend this grater attachment! We received it as a wedding gift and have loved using it for grating cheese, carrots and more! Check it out- it’s pretty awesome! Click the photo below!]

3. “Fold” carrots – gently combine them to the batter without stirring or beating using a spatula.

4. Prepare a 9×13 glass pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes at 350º. At 40 minutes, check the cake using a toothpick to see if it is cooked all the way through. If the knife comes out clean, it should be done; if not, it needs a few more minutes.

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Carrot Cake with a Healthy Twist
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: Healthy Baking
Serves: 12-16
Ingredients
  • ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 TBS Cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp Salt
  • ¼ cup Oil
  • 1 cup + ¼ cup Pumpkin
  • 2 cups Grated Carrots
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients except for the carrots into a kitchen aid bowl and mix. [Take out your butter and cream cheese to soften for the frosting]
  2. Grate carrots. If you have a newer Kitchen Aid, I would highly recommend their grater attachment!
  3. "Fold" carrots - gently combine them to the batter without stirring or beating using a spatula.
  4. Prepare a 9x13 Pyrex pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 40-45 minutes at 350º. At 40 minutes, check the cake using a knife to see if it is cooked all the way through. If the knife comes out clean, it should be done; if not, it needs a few more minutes.

 

Making the Frosting…

Take your room temperature butter and cream cheese and add to the kitchen aid. Mix until very creamy. Add 1/2 of the powdered sugar and mix on low. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, as well as the vanilla and milk. The frosting should be thick so do not add so much milk that it becomes runny. Once the cake cools, you can add the frosting. If you are not going to frost the cake right away, place the frosting into the refrigerator.

Carrot Cake with a Healthy Twist Frosting
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Frosting
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup Butter
  • ½ stick (1/2 cup) Cream Cheese
  • Scant 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • 1 TBS Milk (Add more as needed)
Instructions
  1. Take your room temperature butter and cream cheese and add to the kitchen aid. Mix until very creamy. Add ½ of the powdered sugar and mix on low. Add the rest of the powdered sugar, as well as the vanilla and milk. The frosting should be thick so do not add so much milk that it becomes runny. Once the cake cools, you can add the frosting. If you are not going to frost the cake right away, place the frosting into the refrigerator.

 

Enjoy! :)

Bekah Signature48

Am I Satisfied? 4 Questions to ask yourself……

What does is mean to be truly satisfied? The definition of the word satisfy used as a verb is to fulfill the desires, expectations, needs or demands of a person or to put an end to a desire, want or need by sufficient provision. Some of the synonyms for the word satisfy are gratify, pacify, appease and please.

AM I TRULY SATISFIED WITH MY LIFE?…….
What is enough?
Do I appreciate my blessings?
Do I buy more than I need?
Do I serve those in need?

How are we satisfied? What brings satisfaction…..?
CONFLICT FREE LIVING- when relationships with family and friends are going well and there is no conflict in interpersonal relationships in business or community.
COMPLETED “TO DO” LIST-having a “To Do” list completed for the day.
CONTRIBUTING TO SOCIETY- “satisfied” may be when people feel they are making a contribution to society.
CONTENTMENT-Satisfaction comes when hopes or expectations are met by people, or circumstances that can be controlled or events that occur in our lives that can not be controlled.
FULFILLMENT OF WANTS/NEEDS-Often times we think of satisfaction only in terms of the fulfillment of material wants and needs. In our culture of consumerism and materialism we get off track easily. Every where we turn there is an opportunity to to be discontent because the goal of media marketing is to makes us believe there is “more and better” of everything we could possibly need or want.

A few months ago, my husband and I read a book with a few friends called “Satisfied-Discovering Contentment in a World of Consumption” written by Jeff ManionIMG_3014

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The DVD series and workbook that went along with this book had some challenging tasks for us to do, to help us begin our journey towards contentment and generosity. We learned how to be SATISFIED.
WEEK 1- we had to count all the shirts and shoes in our closet.
What is enough?
WEEK 2- we were asked to write all the blessings we could think of that we have in our life.
Do I appreciate my blessings?
WEEK 3- we had to go on a spending fast and were only allowed to buy food and medications. Do I buy more than I need?
WEEK 4- (My favorite week) we were asked to serve someone or volunteer to help someone-cleaning, moving, cooking-whatever they needed.
Do I serve those in need?
All of these exercises and more, helped us identify our attitudes and beliefs about contentment and being satisfied, because we were forced to actually take an honest look at our practices and behaviors. I would highly recommend this book, study guide and DVD series.

WEEK 2 was easy for me because I have so many things to be grateful for. If I were to measure my wealth in terms of relationships, and the blessing of family-especially grandchildren, I am the richest woman ever. IMG_6575 IMG_6605 IMG_6656 I love my family and friends and am always so grateful for any opportunity I have to spend time celebrating the satisfaction that a comes with gathering together.

The task of NOT spending money on anything but food and medicine for a week seemed  overwhelming at first, but it was actually very freeing. I was not tempted to buy nonessentials and every excuse I usually used to justify buying things I do not need, did not seem convincing enough to make me break my spending fast. My favorite task was to serve someone because it gave me a fresh perspective on how satisfying it is to put your own needs aside and serve another person, just for the sake of serving. I realized how important it is to look at life from another person’s perspective who might have a need that I could fulfill. I was able to bring satisfaction to the person I served and have a generous heart toward her.

One of the most important things I learned was that by examining what I value, I can practice a habit of trusting God to provide all that I need for true contentment and to live a satisfied life.

Psalms 107:9 says “For God satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” and in Philippians 4:11 the apostle Paul says “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

Are you satisfied?

Kerry Signature48

Refresh Your Spirit

Recently, I started a new and exciting business venture with a friend. I’m learning fast that just because I’m excited about something doesn’t necessarily mean everyone else is too. I find my belief constantly challenged by the opinions of others. Isn’t it that way with most things? When we allow others’ thoughts and opinions to influence us, suddenly our fire and our light starts to dim.

My same friend, who has been such an encouragement to me, shared this amazing series from Elevation Church called “Crash the Chatterbox.”

The theme of the series reads, “We live in a world full of chatter. Lies of condemnation, fear, insecurity, and discouragement bombard us every day. These lies keep us from hearing God’s voice and realizing the full purpose He has for our lives. But what can we do about it? How can we silence the enemy and discern God’s voice above all others? In this series, we’ll learn how to crash the Chatterbox with the promises of God, and embrace the freedom found only in Him.”

Fears and insecurities can only overcome our beliefs if we let them. What if instead of leaving room for “chatter” we fill our hearts and minds with truth?

I’ve decided that from now on whenever I start to let self-doubt creep into my mind I’m going to fill that space with God’s promises or motivating truths.

Here’s some ideas of how to keep your spirit refreshed:

-Listen to the series “Crash the Chatterbox

-Listen to positive, uplifting music

-Find motivating personal development podcasts

-Put on some great jams and have a dance party with your kids

-Change scenes. Get out of the house or get some exercise

-Call a friend who always makes you feel good

-Make plans with friends or plan to host a get-together

-Try a new recipe

-Fill your heart with gratitude

-Create a vision board for your goals so that you know where you are going. Discover your why and let it fuel you.

-Be intentional with your time and set goals that keep you focused

-Open those empty spaces to God’s word. Read a devotional. Spend time in prayer.

How do you keep your spirit refreshed?

Rach Signature48

Refreshed

Are you thirsty? Do you feel like your thirst is never quenched? Do you feel an ongoing need for hydration? Are we every fully satisfied?

Water is essential to our lives. I am sure you already know we cannot survive without it. But did you know our bodies are made of 50-70% water? Water is vital as it dissolves substances, carries nutrients, transports oxygen, aids other organs, regulates body temperature, sends electrical messages, helps digestion, and many other essential functions. And not only is our body made of water, we have to continually put water in to continue replenishing what we use and lose. So we never arrive and have a sufficient and lasting amount of water. We always need more and more. How people get water into their body can look a little different, but the base has to be water.  Water in its purest form is the best.  But you can get small amounts of waters from teas, fruits, vegetables, and other foods. But that doesn’t replace the need for just pure water.

We always think of drinking water once we get thirsty, but what we forget is it is much more beneficial to hydrate yourself consistently.  When competing or exercising, the process of drinking water should happen way before you even start.  Water improves performance from the beginning.  Once you feel thirsty, it has already gone too far.  Your body is then in survival mode. Water needs to be an every day, all the time, without even thinking, choice.

Now some of you may see where I am going, but can’t we look at this and compare it to our lives as believers.  To be truly refreshed, we need to saturate ourself in the love of Jesus, the word of God, the community of believers, the blessing of prayer, and the opportunity of faith. When the dry feelings come, we are much farther dehydrated than we even realize at the first sign of thirst.  Without feeling thirsty, we should thirst for more. Like not being able to live without water, we cannot fully live without Christ. We try to satisfy our physical needs with many things, flavored water, juice, lemonade, soda, certain fruits, foods,  But the purest form and our biggest need is water. Our spiritual mental and emotional need can only truly be satisfied in the Lord. We can make other things seem pleasureable and satisfactory for a little while, but the deep root of our need still is driven by our need for the Lord.  Just like we can drink all sorts of other things, but our body needs water. If you are feeling dehydrated emotionally and spiritually, make sure you get water in its truest form. You need Jesus.  You don’t necessarily need a program or a new routine.  You need Jesus.

There is an ebb and flow to the amount of water you need.  Just like there are valleys and mountains in the journey of life. But never can we go a day without water.  Never should we go a day without Jesus.  If we try, if we get distracted, or if we try to fill that void with other things, we are only left thirsty.  Thirsty on a road to get desperate.  If we remain thirsty, we are missing the fullness of life as God created it.  He wants us to never hunger and thirst.  He wants us to be filled, satiated, and satisfied in him. Can my thirst draw me desperate for the Lord.  I want to be desperate as a state of realizing my continuous need, not desperate in a way where it feels too late. So may I fill myself with the water of life so I can constantly quench my thirst, always understanding my need for water, and never trying to replace it with something else.  As my body needs water, my soul needs the water of life.

Psalm 63:1 “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.

Psalm 107:9 “For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

John 6:33-35 “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”  Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life. “

Are you thirsty? What are you doing to try to satisfy your thirst? Is it working? 

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