Friday, November 20, 2015

How to Speak to a Non-Native English Speaker

You pull up to the drive through, and you giggle as the person repeating your order back replaces 'r's with 'l's. The foreign exchange student is so 'cute' when he/she speaks English, that it's hard to take what they are saying seriously. You don't mean to, but sometimes you feel like the foreign person you are talking to, isn't quite as intelligent, since they have horrid sentence structure. I'm not going to say that I've never thought any of these things, but going to a foreign country and having to learn a language, really makes your perspective change.

Here are some of my pet peeves that I had while learning Thai. Hopefully the next time you talk to someone, whose first language isn't English, you'll remember these things. 

1. Talking down to a person:
I don't mind slow, so please don't confuse the two. Talking down to someone, means you speak to them like you have a higher intelligence than they do. I know a foreigner in Thailand who speaks like a five year old in English when he speaks to foreigners, and to me, this is another way of 'talking down'. Slow and clear is good. Speaking to them like you believe their intelligence is somehow lower than yours, is bad.
I remember checking out groceries multiple times, and asking how the cashier was (because I'm a good southerner). I received giggles, and 'aww, it's so cute!'. They then proceeded to talk cutsie back to me. It always made me feel like a different person than who I actually was.
Church members didn't mean to, but often I felt talked down to. They simplified the conversation so much, that it felt 'dumbed down'.

2. Laughing at an accent:
This probably didn't bother me as much as #1, however, when you are trying to learn another language, and you spend so much time working on it, just to have your accent laughed at, it can be frustrating. It can discourage someone from continuing to learn.

Some things I wish people understood about speaking a second language:

1. Sometimes you can seem blunt.
When you are learning a second language, you often learn the most direct way of saying something. You learn the sentence structure, then the words. I remember my driver calling me, but I didn't recognize who was calling. I picked up the phone and said 'Excuse me, but who is this?' Apparently this was both direct and rude. There was a much more polite and round-about way of saying it, but that was the sentence I knew how to say, and so I used it. I appeared much more blunt than I am in real life.

2. You are trying hard to communicate
There were many foreigners in Thailand at the time, who took no time in learning Thai. Their English remained perfect, and thus, made no 'cutsie' or 'rude' mistakes. They also made no effort in communicating, and thus, didn't seem to care quite as much about the people they were living with.

Here are some ways you can help

1. Get to know the person and their vocabulary
I have a friend in Thailand, who knows pretty much my entire vocabulary. That way when she speaks to me, I understand 99.9% of what she's saying. It went visa versa for me. I spoke clearly and learned what vocabulary she knew. We now have a conversation that is equally in Thai and English. We both learned from each other, and after I get done talking to her, I can't remember which language we were speaking. Try to be this kind of a friend, if you can. I understand with waiters and service employees you can't really do that, but you can speak to them like they are normal people.

2. Be interested in their country and language. 
It was fun when people asked me about Texas, and different phrases from there. Be interested in what their interested in, and who knows, you may gain a new friend!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Our Faithful God

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!

His faithful love endures forever. 
Give thanks to the God of gods.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His faithful love endures forever.
(Psalm 136:1-3)

With the attacks in Paris, ISIS growing at an alarming rate, things at home like a large pay cut, finding out my good friend might have cancer, and a dear family friend passing away long before her time, it all feels like the world is getting so dark. Is God's Faithful love there? Is He really good? The simple answer is, of course, yes even if our hearts don't feel it.

Here are some things to remember when I wonder where God's love is.
1. God saved me: He didn't have to, but he did. This one thing should be enough to make me thankful for the rest of my life. No matter how bad it is here, I know I have a place waiting for me up in Heaven!

2. He has been faithful to provide my needs: As we are given this pay cut, I have seen God provide in so many ways. It seemed difficult when my husband was going through teacher certification, and we could only use a certain portion of our salary during that time. Now I'm so thankful we learned to live on that amount of money, so that now we are better prepared.

3. Finally, He is God. He is the Creator of all the universe. He has a plan and purpose for all things, and although I don't understand why all the time, I can understand that He is God. That should be enough for me.

What are some things you are thankful for? How have you seen God provide your needs?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Budget Bathroom Makeover

This was my front bathroom...Dark, a bit old fashioned, and frankly messy (okay, I could have done something about the messy).  I decided to devote this summer to updating a few things, and I thought I would share with you! I've spent about $30, but plan to buy a shower curtain rod, and shower curtain, which will bring me to the $50's-$60's range. The key to not spending a lot of money on re-do's are looking for sales, finding things around the house you already have, and thinking ahead for the future (what decor will last longer/not a fad).

Here is the after:

I chose 'under the sea' as the theme, since it's not only kid friendly, but I also previously had some (well, a lot) of dolphin decor, so my rugs and towels were already bright blue. This saved some $$, on top of the fact that I had most of a gallon of white paint from my son's nursery. I just had to purchase some decor.

The canvases cost me about $8 (I drew and painted them), the glass turtle: $2, along with a $2 stencil (that I've yet to use) from Hobby Lobby. I found the whale hook at Kirklands on clearance for $8, and I also found the anchor plaque full price for $10. A $2 glass shell from Target completes what I paid for, with the rest being shells from the beach, and decor I already had.
From Messy Dolphin Decor
To less cluttered more 'beachy' decor

I DIYed the ivory light switch cover, by mod podging some shells that my husband had collected years ago.
I just love my $8 whale hooks! Green tag clearance for the win!

 It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint, and a few decorations can do! I am hoping to add a few things in the future, as I find things on sale. Our floors also need to be replaced, which will be at least an $80-$100 job, but for now, I am very happy with my under the sea bathroom! What are some budget makeovers that you've done?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

How to save up to $230 a month!

I know I've written a couple of money posts in the past, and one here recently, but I feel compelled to write this one. It kept me awake, after my little man had already fallen back asleep, just thinking of ways to help a friend of mine out. After thinking of ways to help my friend, I thought the thought I normally think (sounds like a line out of Dr. Seuss or something) and said, 'Why don't I just make it a blog post!'

If you find yourself struggling to make ends meet at the end of the month, and never seem to be able to build very much of a savings, here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

1. Do I have Direct TV, Cable, Satellite (whatever the case may be)?

Get rid of it. Please. Call the number today and cancel, don't make a deal with them unless they're willing to give it to you for free. Get an antenna and a streaming service. Just pick one streaming service though, because you'll find yourself spending just as much for it as you were spending on Cable. I recommend Netflix, but some other options are: Amazon Prime(and you get other  perks for having an Amazon membership), and Hulu. Look at each option and figure out what is best for you and your family. If you are really trying to save money, use the antenna, look for Redbox codes, and ask for certain TV series and DVDs for Christmas. 

Bam! You've saved about $60/month! (according to Cable One's Standard package. If you substitute their package for Netflix, you save $62)

2. Do you go to the store with a meal plan?

Yes, it saves a lot of money! I personally have failed this area many times, but when I get a meal plan, I save money on things like rice, pasta, certain meats, that I don't need for certain dishes if I've planned it all out. If I'm not making Thai, or Chinese that week, I know to skip the soy sauce. Once I switched to writing out a meal plan, and estimating how much each grocery item would cost, I saved about $20/week. That's $80 a month!

3. Does your day include a lot of microwave dinners, processed snacks, and canned drinks?

These pre-packaged goodies are not only unhealthy for you, but more expensive. Yes, it's more convenient for you, but you also paying for the marketing, the processing, as well as all the extra ingredients to keep its freshness. 
Instead of canned drinks for your caffeine kick, get a coffee maker. Instead of $5 a week on cans, I pay about $5 every 3 weeks on ground coffee (I do add creamer, but this is very much a preference thing)
Not a coffee person? How about sweet tea? It's even cheaper! If you'll switch to mostly water, you will save even more (and be even healthier). 
Buy snacks that you make yourself. I buy popping corn, instead of microwave bags. It's $1.18 for the Walmart brand, and I've made popcorn for my husband and me at least 10 times, and the bag is still half full. You can also buy fruit instead of boxed crackers and chips. Yes, it's again less convenient, but if you have to work to snack on something, the urge to snack may go away. I was raised on 3 meals a day...Your kids will not starve, if you don't let them snack all day. Who knows, they may not care so much what you're cooking for dinner!
If you buy coffee instead of coke, and popcorn instead of chips, you are saving at least $10-15 a week. 
If you make your own food (you can look at Pinterest for cheap and fast meals) instead of microwave dinners and frozen pizza, you can save several dollars a week. Let's keep it low, and say you save $5 doing that. You're at $20/week, $80/month.

4. Do you think more is cheaper?

Sams/Costco is an awesome place, where they sale baked beans to feed your entire family at Thanksgiving. It's sold in large quantity, so that makes it cheaper, right? Not always. Bring your calculator, and remember to calculate price per unit (lb., oz. etc.). Most of the time it's cheaper, but not always. 

5. Do you make spur of the moment purchases?

Back away from the magazine! The products at the cashier counters are there for a reason. There have been many studies to find out what people are most likely to buy on impulse. Try to have a game plan if you are someone who gets tempted by these things (my weakness is snicker bars!). Bring a bottle water with you, and sip while you wait. Or just think of how many times you go to the store, and how much you save by not buying it each week!
Not only does this apply to small purchases, but big ones. I think asking questions like 'Is this a need or a want?' 'How will I use this?' Are there cheaper alternatives?'  This can apply to your kids as well. Your kids don't need the latest new toy or a new wardrobe every time they want one (need vs. want applied here. If they had a growth spurt and suddenly can't fit into any of their clothes, it's a different story. However, if you're short on cash, garage sales and second hand stores may have to be where they find some of their 'new' wardrobe) . If they are very keen on something, tell them they have to earn it themselves.

Spur of the moment purchases are normally only a couple of dollars savings. However, $2/week ends up being $8 a month, and about $100 a year!

So if you answered yes to all of these questions, and you follow what I've suggested, you'll average about $230/month savings! Wow! Instead of thinking of ways you can spend the money you've saved, first make sure all of your important bills are paid (and look for ways to save there! Look at your thermostat, and see if you could be saving money by making your air/heat higher/lower), and you've made it through the month. See how much money you have left. Next month, put that into savings until you have your normal month's paycheck in savings. Never let your savings (unless it's an emergency: tires blow, car breaks down, ER trip, etc.) dip below that number. Next, start saving up for something you love! Perhaps a family vacation, or a what would normally be a frivolous shopping spree!

Remember, none of these suggestions will work by itself. Get your family involved and make sure it's a lifestyle change, instead of a passing fad. Don't make your finances a secret to your husband/wife, or even your kids. If your kids know how to be good stewards of money now, they are more likely to be good stewards when they have families of their own! And as always, put God first in your finances.

What are ways that you save money each month? Are you saving for something special?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Are God's Standards too High?

I have lived in a Christian home my whole life, I've gone to church, and been homeschooled in a very Christian environment. I am not one to talk about the hot topic issues of the day, because I feel like in a couple of days the media will die down, and I will just be writing for a few shares and some likes. However, I was on Facebook last night, when I came across a beautiful picture done by Three Nails Photography of Sadie Robertson. I decided to click on his business page to see some of his other work, and found a picture of him wearing a cross and a rainbow button in support of the court's ruling the other day. Under the picture he shared a blog post of his coming out; you can find it here: . It's such food for thought.
He was raised in a Christian home.
He went to church.
He went to a Christian school. 
I was so sad because he literally feels like that he is going hell, and he's just reconciled himself to that. He can't be happy in a heterosexual lifestyle, so he just decided to give up and follow his feelings. He never can meet God's standards, so he just gave up. 
Does this mean that because he feels this way God is going to let him go to hell, even though he's tried everything to make himself better? Does this mean that we should forget the Bible, because it's obviously wrong about Homosexuality being a choice out of lust? 
Here is what I got out of it. 
God's standards are too high for anyone. Sorry, but it's true. 

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard (Romans 3:23)

Although we like to put degrees on sins (and I do believe that some sins have greater punishment, or consequences) on the very base level, we have all messed up. We all have that one (or maybe more) sin that Satan knows how to tempt us with. Perhaps you have a predisposed temptation to alcoholism, or lying, gossiping, adultery, you name it. You can do everything in your power to change that lifestyle. You can go to meetings, hate yourself for it, whatever means you use to stop the urge. The urge never goes away though, and you finally give up. God's standard is too high, so you just throw up your hands and figure that either God is going to have to deal with it, or you're going to hell, right?
Here is the good and bad news. First, you can't do it. I'm sorry but you can't.

 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.(Romans 6:23)

But there's this! The free gift. The unmerited gift that God gives despite your predisposed nature to sin.

If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.(Romans 10:9)

And there's the gift. Go look up John 3:16. Actually go read the book of John. It's basically God's love story to you despite everything you are and you've done. Don't believe that God can do it? Read Acts, and the story of Paul. He was raised believing in God, went to seminary, and knew the Bible backwards and forwards, but still got it wrong. He killed people! But God saved him, and he can save you!

I think that the guy in the blog post is attracted to guys. I think that some people are born with those urges. I think as soon as I could talk I was lying my head off. I still have the temptation to lie. God is the only one who helped me stop, and this guy needs the saving love of Christ. Not rules that he can't break, but salvation from his lifestyle. He may still be tempted, but being tempted, and acting upon the temptations are very different.
Have you received the free gift of Salvation?

Friday, June 26, 2015

How I Lost the Baby Weight

I gained 45 pounds with my son. 45 pounds! I was very much a whale, and was incredibly worried that I wouldn't be able to lose it once the baby got here. However, with workout videos my cousin suggested, and time (about 5-6 months before I lost everything) I lost it! I might would have lost it faster, had I started eating healthy right off the bat, but it was very overwhelming taking care of a newborn, so fast food was the easiest option more times than not.
Here are a few things that helped me feel better in my own skin, and helped me lose the weight. Hope they help you!

1. Right after I had the baby: 

I used a Belly Bandit. If you are uncomfortable with the price, there are cheaper alternatives. I was able to wear this the day after I had my son, and it made me feel better about myself. People remarked at how small I looked (Especially with how big I had gotten), considering I had just had a baby.

2. After 6 weeks:

This can be for anyone! I waited the full 6 weeks before I did any major workouts. I was still quite sore from childbirth, but I eased on into them. There was progress right away! Blogilates was suggested by my cousin, and the workouts really accommodate the beginner to the expert. I downloaded an app on my phone that charges me 99cents per month for a workout calendar. You can also get it from her website or go at your own pace at If you have never done Pilates before, I suggest you start with her beginner calendar, and work your way to the harder stuff. The thing I like most is that the videos are anywhere from 5-15 minutes, which means you can do it until your baby's attention span is done! 

After about 3 months, I started eating much healthier, and that helped me lose the remaining pounds. I am now 5 pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight! What are some of your weightloss tips?

Note: Since writing this, Blogilates has come out in support of the US's ruling of same-sex marriage. I do love her workouts, but I do not support her stance. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

How I Can Afford to be a Stay-at-Home Mom

Note: This post is to help those who want to stay at home with their baby, feel comfortable with their decision, and even perhaps help with some money saving/making tips. If you are a working mom, and have no desire to stay at home, or you are a single mom, or whatever the case may be, this is in no way putting you down. All moms who love their kids and provide for them are super moms, in my opinion. However, if you are working, and you would just love to stay at home with your little one, but don't know how to afford it, maybe this post is for you!

I knew I wanted to stay at home with my baby before I even had him. I actually was a stay-at-home wife all the years that I have been married. You could say that my husband and I are already used to one income, so that made an easier transition, however, I think baby costs are always a little bit of a shock. For one thing, I had planned a birth center birth, and had paid in full every cost, but I had to be transported by ambulance (cha-ching) from the birth center and taken to the hospital (more cha-ching) where I still birthed naturally, a healthy little boy and we stayed for two nights (can I say it? more cha-ching!). This made a lot of unforeseen expenses that I'm hoping helps me write this in such a way, as to help you make a decision on whether you can afford to stay at home with your little one.

If you are anything like me, as soon as you see that little bundle of cuteness, and fall so deeply in love with your squishy, squirmy, poopy, screaming, baby and you don't want to miss a moment of their lives. It may make you step back and (if you were thinking of going back to work) wonder, 'is there any way I can stay at home with my baby?'
Yes! I think that you can! Here are some things to think about:

1) Daycare

Not only are there questions on who you can trust with your little one, but it's also a very expensive decision. Because I've never looked in to daycare, I had to do a little research to find some numbers on how much it costs. If these numbers are wrong, please comment, and give me better numbers, so I can make this post more accurate. According to the *Boston Globe, the average charge per month for my state, is $700. This means that if you make $2,500 a month, you have only $1,800 left to spend on other things. 

2) Meals and other expenses

My family still eats out a couple of times per week. Now, that could be eliminated if we needed to cut back on expenses. If you eat out at work, and get take out a few times a week, this can be a couple of hundred dollars a month! If you are at home, you can fix meals for your family, and pack lunch for your husband. Pinterest is full of cheap meal ideas, and quick ones too! Other work related expenses include the gas it takes for your commute, business attire, and gifts for coworkers. These little things really do add up. My husband is a teacher, and we see a definite increase in funds when he is at home. Even if we only put this at $100 a month, you are now up to $1,000 spent in daycare, gas, meals, and clothes.

3) Cutting Back

I think that staying at home, might include some sacrifice on your families part. It may mean a smaller house, only one car, making smarter food choices, etc. It may mean cheaper diapers, second hand clothes, and a not quite so elaborate first birthday. For me, it's not a sacrifice, when I think that I get to be home and catch all the 'firsts' with my son. There are hard days as a stay at home mom, because you are a housekeeper, cook, and daycare worker all in one, but to me they are all worth it!

What about ways to make money?

1) What can you do?

I am a church pianist, and I love working with kids, so it was a no brainer to teach piano. Others can crochet, quilt, play guitar, etc. As a piano teacher I make about $400 a month. I could make more and add students, but having a baby does make days quite busy. Add that to the $1,000 I'm saving, and I am getting close to what I would actually be making (especially since I do not have a degree, and possibly wouldn't be making quite the $2,500). Perhaps you can find your niche that allows you to make some money and stay at home with your little girl or guy. Because my husband and I aren't in debt, we take the money that I make, and make that our savings. That way every cent (except for our tithe, of course) that he makes, goes into providing for the family. 

2) What if I can't really 'do' anything?

Some people get into selling make up, watch others' babies, etc. My mom has cleaned churches and offices to make enough to stay at home. The website  has great information on ways you can make and save money while staying at home...maybe you could even start a blog!

Last, but definitely not least, if you feel that God has called you to stay at home, HE will provide! Don't worry or fret. Plan? Yes! Set a budget? Yes! But let God show you just how He can provide for your needs, and you will be amazed!
I hope this has helped you. Do you have ways of saving, or making money as a stay-at-home mom? I would love to hear about it!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Starting a New Series

It's summer time, and my little baby isn't quite so little any more. Since he is starting to allow me some time to myself (and my husband is a teacher, which makes it where I have someone to watch the baby for a few minutes) I thought I would try to blog over the summer about once a week. Emphasis on try! I know that to have a successful blog, you need to be consistent, but babies can take up a lot of time! Especially one who is now fairly mobile, and goes straight for the computer any time I open it. 
This month, I would like to deviate from my usual spiritual gleanings, and do a bit of mommy tips. It will be a series on things I've learned about as a first time mom: What you really need for a baby, how to keep your house cleaned with a baby (haha, not quite sure if I'm qualified for this one, but I'm going to take a stab at it),  How to lose the baby weight, How I stay at home, and maybe one on random tips. Remember that I'm a first time mom and learning as I go, but I would like to help others who may be struggling with something I struggled with, so perhaps you won't have as difficult of a time. If you have your own tips or questions, feel free to comment!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Leaving a Legacy

In our Sunday Night class, we are studying about the Kingdom Woman (by Chrystal Evans Hurst), and this evening, the lesson is again on the Legacy of a Kingdom Woman. In the video and lesson, Chrystal's mom shares stories of her mother and grandmother and the legacy they left to her to be able to be content with little, and to not let emotions be governed by the situation.

Let me tell you about a legacy that I have watched this week. This week, my husband's great-uncle passed away unexpectedly. It was very tragic, and I knew that this family, who had already been through such loss just not long ago, would be devastated.  Going over to Mamaw's house (that's southern for Grandmother) I saw sadness, yes, but I also saw great strength. She had lost her brother, but she would see him again.

Whenever Mamaw answered a phone call, she told how very blessed she was. When she answered people's questions, she did so with politeness and courage. Another close family member at some point said 'I just can't do this' and her reply was this:

'You are just going to have to! You are just going to have to pick up and go. You have no choice, I have no choice. I am still going, even after I lost the other ones (she has also lost a husband, and son). I have no regrets. I know where he is.'

She told a cousin, that God would get her through. You see, Mamaw knew Somebody, and that Somebody had never forsaken her and He wasn't about to now. I heard the words of Job in Mamaw's attitude and words:

"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21

Oh that I could be as strong as she! Her strength is not her own, and she will tell you that. Her strength is found in Jesus Christ, her Savior. She knows she will see her brother again, and she hangs on to that promise.

Do you know the Sombody? The God of Creation? Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior?

What kind of Legacy are you leaving for others? I pray I leave half the legacy Mamaw gave me!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Before I was a Mom

My son is going through teething, and a good nights sleep is becoming a distant memory. Sometimes I think about how it was before I was a mom...

Before I was a mom, my house was really clean. I didn't think it was, but it was!

Before I was a mom, a shower was a necessity, not a privilege.

Before I was a mom, laundry was never on the couch. I had made myself a rule that I would always have the front of the house free of laundry, now it's the best way for me to get it done.

Before I was a mom, what worried me at night was what I might do the next day, or perhaps what someone thought about me. Now I worry if my son is breathing, in pain, hot, cold, and ask myself if I am a bad mom because I do this, or that. 

Before I was a mom, I got 8 hours of sleep...8 hours!! Last night I had probably less than 4 broken hours.

Before I was a mom, I loved to do different things to my semi-long hair. Now I feel pretty dressed up in a ponytail. 

Before I was a mom, my husband and I went on a date night weekly. Now, we still do that, but with a 5 month old that may, or may not allow the said date night to be longer than 5 minutes.

This sounds depressing, I know. But let me tell you some more things about before I was a mom.

Before I was a mom, I never knew how happy I would be to see my son smile, laugh, sit up, etc. 

Before I was a mom, I never had someone raise their hands to me, because they wanted me, and only me. 

Before I was a mom, I never voluntarily stayed awake just to look at the sweet thing laying beside my bed.

Before I was a mom, I never knew how much I needed to trust God. To simply put things into His hands, because I have no control over the situation.

Before I was a mom, I never knew this strange new kind of love I have for my son. I look into his face, and I would do absolutely anything for him. It also made me realize just how much love God must have for us!

Before I was a mom, I never knew how much I would love being a mom! 

I am so thankful the Lord let me be a mom. Some days I wish I could just get one more hour of sleep, or that I had a half hour just to clean the bathroom, but I wouldn't trade these past 6 months for all the sleep, or the cleanest house in the world!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Fellowship of the Believers (Lord of the Rings pun intended)

A while back (very long ago, seeing I haven't posted in almost 9 months!) I wrote an article about going to church. If you would like to read that post, you may do so here: And here I am to post again on the same subject. It has been weighing heavy on my heart because here lately our church has seen pretty decent numbers on Sunday mornings, then less than 20 on Sunday night, and even our faithful members seem to find excuses to not come to Sunday School and Sunday Morning Worship. 

As usual, my husband and I (and now our cute little boy) were watching a pastor on one of our local channels that comes on, early Sunday morning. He was talking about the first church and used these verses:

Acts 2:41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
42 All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.

43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. 44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. 46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity— 47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

This was a wonderful time for the early church. People were getting saved daily, and worshiping daily. Worshiping daily?! We can hardly stand to get together at the most 3 times a week! They met together, fellowshiped together, and had corporate worship in the Temple each day. They didn't mind worshiping in public even if that meant persecution.

I guess my question is, What reason did you not go to church today? I know there are reasons to stay home. Maybe you are a shut in, or sick (ain't nobody got time for a stomach bug!), etc. However, I think we are too easily tempted to make excuses for why we can't come to church. My favorite one right now is the 'I didn't get to bed until 'such and such' time in the morning, therefore, I needed my sleep.' As a new mom that is happy to get a solid 4-5 hours, this annoys me so much. Rant aside, I know it's easy to let other things become a priority: sleep, family coming over, work, school, but how shallow do those things sound when the early church was meeting together daily with the threat of persecution over their heads?

I don't say this to make myself look great. I am also tempted to put other things before church, Bible, prayer, but the sermon this morning, and scripture, remind me that I should count it a blessing to have fellowship with my fellow believers.

Making Time for Date Nights When you Have Littles

note: amazon links are affiliated Life has just gotten busy here lately. Hubby's work, sickness, visitors, doctor visits, homescho...