How Can You Prevent Your Hard Work from Being Stolen?

Use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker software because you deserve to make someone eat your words if they steal them.

stolen work

Have you ever worked really hard on a blog post, only to find that someone else has posted your article on the web and taken full credit? I’ve been there, and it stinks. Plus, if their pageviews are higher than yours, it can really burn your biscuits. You spent hours researching and putting together that post, only to have some random stranger come by and steal it.

Unfortunately, this happens all the time.

That’s why I want to encourage you to check out the link above. Grammarly’s plagiarism checker software can help you keep your work YOUR work. It only takes a minute to paste your text into the box and find out if you are the only one that has published your article.

There’s another cool feature to that software mentioned above: It will check your article for grammatical errors. Heaven knows there are many times I could certainly use something like that. It’s a great way to make your posts even better than they were before you checked them with Grammarly’s software.

Have you ever been the victim of plagiarism? How did you discover the stolen information, and what did you do about it? I’d love to hear your stories!

#Sponsored: Looking for Prom Dresses? Check Out JJ’sHouse

Sponsored PostDisclaimer: This post is sponsored by JJsHouse.com.
prom dresses

March is finally here, and before we know it, Prom will be here as well. The girls at my daughter’s school are already looking for their prom dresses and trying to find that one perfect dress to make their prom even more special.

I was recently introduced to JJsHouse and I am quite impressed with their selection of prom dresses. They have so many unique options available, and so many color choices!

The thing that stands out to me most, though, is the selection of modest prom dresses they have available. (Click here: http://www.jjshouse.com/Prom-Dresses-c18/) There are just so many gorgeous dresses available that I would actually love to see my daughter wearing… whether she wears it to Prom, or to some other special event.

Their prices for their prom dresses are also quite reasonable. With special occasion dresses, one expects to pay top dollar. JJ’sHouse offers their dresses at a fair price, far below the suggested retail price of the dresses, and they also offer excellent discounts on shipping prices.

If you are looking for a Prom dress, either for yourself or for your daughter, I hope you’ll take a moment to stop by JJ’sHouse and check out their selection of special occasion dresses. You’re sure to find that one dress that meets all your expectations and more!

#Sponsored: Wedding & Special Occassion Dresses from JenJenHouse.com

Sponsored PostDisclaimer: This post is sponsored by JenJenHouse.com.

jenjenhouse.com

I’ve been talking for awhile about how my family is preparing to go on a fantastic little getaway. Because we’ll be going on a cruise, the ship will have a formal night while we’re on board. So, for months, I have spent countless hours searching online for special occasion dresses that would work for myself and for my oldest daughter.

I wish that I had known sooner about JenJenHouse. I found several dresses at great prices that would have worked for both of us. I can’t get over the huge selection of modest special occasion dresses they have that work for any budget.

My absolute favorite dress is the Mermaid Scoop Neck Floor-Length Tulle Evening Dress With Lace . WOW! Talk about gorgeous. And it’s available in so many colors! I would have loved to had this dress to take with us on our trip.

I showed my daughter the site as well, and I’m pretty sure she has “pinned” almost everything on the site. :) I have a feeling that as soon as the next homecoming or special occasion comes up, she’ll be asking her Daddy and I to get her a beautiful new dress from JenJenHouse.com. I think it’s become one of her new favorite sites.

If you are looking for a wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses, an evening gown, or even just some accessories for your next special occasion, please stop by and check out JenJenHouse.com. You’re sure to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Well, That Wasn’t The Reaction I Expected!

Another One is On the Way!
Early in January, hubby and I found out that another blessing is on the way. We had been trying for several months, so it wasn’t that big of a shock. However, my husband is the type of guy that prefers we don’t tell anyone about the baby until I’ve been to the doctor and we know things are all right. While I am terrible at keeping secrets, I’ve kept this secret enough over the years that it doesn’t bother me to wait to share our news with the world.

We found out we were pregnant on a Monday. That Saturday, I was at our church with my 9 year old son, Jace, setting up for a baby shower. My preacher walked in and said, “I heard the good news!” Not having a clue what he was talking about, (because, again, we had told NO ONE the news), I asked, “What good news?” He responded, “That you’re having another baby.” At this point, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. And so did Jace. We hadn’t even told the kids! Jace turns to me and asks, “Are you really, Mama?!” Oh my gosh. I wanted to die. I smiled and told Jace, “Yes, honey.” Then, I quickly turned to Preacher and asked him who had told him. He wouldn’t tell  me. All he would say was that several people had told him over the past few weeks. Few weeks? We just found out 5 days before!

Terrified that word would spread like wildfire, I called Gene in a panic. I told him he needed to sit the other kids down and tell them, and then he needed to call his parents before someone else said something to them. So much for a surprise. I had had big plans of doing a cute pregnancy announcement, but that went right out the window. I was heartbroken and frankly, I was angry. That was OUR news to tell in OUR time. It wasn’t anyone else’s business.

Once word started to spread through the church, our friends, and our family, we got the usual responses, although this time they had a twist. “Eight is enough, right?” “You always wanted 8, so you can stop now, right?” “Another one? Are you crazy?” “Better you than me!” And so on. It hurts so badly when your own family and those you count as your dearest friends can’t just smile and celebrate your joyous news with you.

So, for that very reason, I held off saying anything on Facebook. I just didn’t want to deal with more snarky comments or “Don’t you know what causes that” comments. (Well, that, and hubby still hadn’t been able to get a hold of his dad. We didn’t want to post anything online until we had told him personally.)

I had an ultrasound yesterday, and after seeing that sweet little heartbeat fluttering away, I couldn’t contain my excitement – or keep my secret – any longer. I called Gene and made sure he was all right with my sharing the news on Facebook. After all, he’d have to read the snarky comments too.

I posted a picture from the ultrasound on my personal Facebook page and said, “September is always our busiest month with our anniversary and Jace and Lucy’s birthdays. But this September, things will get even busier. This little peanut is due to arrive sometime around September 16th. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted 8 children. God has seen fit to bless me thus far, and we couldn’t be more excited. God is good!”

I prayed as I clicked the “Post” button, “Please, Lord, give me the strength to handle the comments with grace and dignity.”

I expected the worst. What I got sent me into shock. Instead of snarky, unkind, or just plain rude comments, I received nothing but love, support, and lots and lots of congratulations. I couldn’t believe it. When Gene got home from work last night, we talked about the reaction the post had gotten, and I cried… only they were tears of relief, not tears of hurt this time.

When it felt like everyone else had nothing kind to say, my Facebook friends – a mesh of the most amazing people I’ve known both offline and online for years – made me smile and made me feel loved. It feels great!

I know lots of moms of many that put off telling people they are pregnant again, simply because they’re afraid of the reaction. There is something wrong with that! What is our society coming to when we can celebrate the birth of baby #1 or #2, but let’s not even talk about #5 or #6? Every baby deserves to be loved and celebrated, whether they are an only child or come from a family of 14.

The Bible is very clear on how God sees children:

Psalm 127: 3 -5 “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”

Psalm 139: 13-14 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

Mark 10:14 – “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Moms (and Dads!) of many, it’s time for us to do as Psalm 127:5 says and not be ashamed. God has blessed us, abundantly, and every new life that is born into HIS army should be celebrated. And if you are not a mom or dad of many, but encounter one in your daily business, please be kind. They don’t need to hear your thoughts or opinions, unless they are kind. Keep the rude comments to yourself. It’ll just be better for everyone.

And with that being said, I can’t wait for September to get here. :)

Will You Be Bored in Heaven?

will you be bored in heaven

“If your heart takes more pleasure in reading novels, or watching TV, or going to the movies, or talking to friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle forever and ever in His presence…? You’d be bored to tears in heaven, if you’re not ecstatic about God now!” -Keith Green

A very, very dear friend of mine put that quote as her status update on Facebook yesterday. Since then, I haven’t been able to get it off my mind or my heart.

Will I be bored in heaven?

I don’t want to be! I long for the day when I will be walking the streets of gold hand in hand with my Jesus, singing songs of praise to His holy name, and thanking Him over and over for what He did for me.

But do I really SHOW that here on earth?

Am I taking the time to teach my children the importance of truly living a life for Jesus? Where reading my Bible, singing songs of praise, and serving Jesus in whatever way possible takes up more time than video games, movies, books, or tv?

I must commit to put Christ first. HE is worth it. Jesus is all I need.

Matthew 6:24 – No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Will you be bored in heaven?

This Year, I will Choose Joy

Last year, I selected one word to focus on. That word was “Purge.

This year, I want to go in a different direction. While I loved the word I selected last year, and it was exactly what I need at that time, this year, I need something else. Something more.

That’s why…

choose joy

The verses I mention above are as follows: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2 – 4KJV

If the end of 2013 is any indication of how 2014 will start, I must commit to “counting it all joy” no matter what comes my way. In the last 2 weeks, my 2 year old had a seizure, and my step-father was admitted into the hospital with tumors. I have been hurt and let down by people I love dearly. And while every part of me wants to sit down, cry, and ask, “Why, God?!” I will stand firmly on the words of my Jesus, and I will choose joy.

Our church has been in revival this week, and man! Has it been good! I’m pretty sure each message was written and every word spoken was just for me. The most powerful message, though, was one that Brother Gary Crisp preached on Monday night. The passage of Scripture he used was Luke 10:25 – 37, the story of the Good Samaritan. He didn’t preach on us needing to be like the Good Samaritan, instead, he preached on how the Christian life is like that of the man that was on the journey… the one that fell among thieves, was wounded, and half dead.

I will tell you, in the past few weeks, I have felt half dead.

In his message, Brother Crisp mentioned the hurt of “church hurt.” I can only think of a few things that hurt worse than the feeling of another man or woman of God causing you hurt. I have felt this hurt, and it has left me feeling half dead. I’ve had other friends that have lied to me, deceived me, belittled me, and just let me down. I’ve listened to my mom cry into the phone, “I can’t go through this again…” as the threat of cancer rages in the life of her husband. (My daddy died of cancer 15 years ago. My mom was my rock during that time. My heart aches that she is even dealing with this again.) I spent hours in the hospital not knowing why my son went into a violent seizure in the middle of a church service. I have shed so many tears in the past month… more tears than I can count.

BUT… I WILL CHOOSE JOY.

During last night’s service, one of the pastors said, “Don’t give up. You might be one prayer away from the answer you’ve been searching for. Press on.”

So, that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to press on. I will remain faithful to my Jesus. I will remain faithful to my church. I will read my Bible, and fill my heart and mind with the words God has just for me. I will pray for His direction for my life. Maybe I will never get to teach a Sunday School Class or lead a women’s Bible study. But I will press on. I will be faithful to the positions God has given me: A wife who prays for her husband diligently, a mother who teaches her children the importance of a life in Christ, a friend who can encourage others when they are down. If I can remain faithful to those things, maybe, just maybe, they will prepare me for something greater. And even if not, if I remain faithful, one day I can stand before the throne of God and hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Because that’s what matters: What my Jesus thinks of me. Not what anyone else may think.

And whatever circumstance I am in, I will choose to rejoice. I have been blessed.

This year, won’t you choose joy too?

Have a Photographer in Your Life? Check Out these Gifts! #SaveBIG

Disclaimer: Affiliate Links are included in this post. Thanks for supporting Blessed Beyond Words!

camera necklace

As many of you are aware, I am a photographer. I’ve run my own business for almost 8 years now. That being said, I *love* all things photography related. And when you combine cameras and jewelry? Well, that’s just a little bit of heaven for me.

So, when I saw the following gifts on Amazon for CHEAP, I had to grab one (of each!) for myself, and then share them with you.

Black & Silver Camera Necklace: $.85 + FREE SHIPPING:


Red & Sliver Camera Necklace: $.91+ FREE SHIPPING:

Black & Gold Camera Stud Earrings: $2.95 + $2.95 SHIPPING:

*Please note: The two necklaces listed above are NOT guaranteed to arrive before Christmas, however, the black and gold earrings ARE guaranteed by Christmas, but you have to order soon!

Hope you love these deals as much as I do!!

 

#Sponsored: This Holiday Season, Stay Connected with CaringBridge #MC

Sponsored Post

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for CaringBridge. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I love the holiday season. It’s the one time of year you don’t have to look far for love and joy. This season, please take a few moments to share your support with friends and family in need.

CaringBridge is a nonprofit organization that offers personal websites, free of charge, to help people stay connected and receive support during any type of health journey. They serve more than half a million people each day, helping to make each journey a little easier along the way.

I wish I had known about CaringBridge when my Daddy faced his battle with mesothelioma. Since we lived out of state from many of our friends and family, CaringBridge would have been a great way to “bridge the gap” between us. I would have loved to have used the site to keep family and friends connected to Daddy, and I would have given just about anything to hear their kind words of encouragement and their love for him.

My Daddy has been gone a long time now, (15 years), but if someone you know or love is facing a health journey of their own, please take a moment and introduce them to CaringBridge.

Also, watch and share this video to help spread the word about CaringBridge:


Direct Link for Subscribers: CaringBridge YouTube Video

Remember, just a small word of support can inspire hope and impact the lives of the ones we love. Make their holiday season shine just a little brighter. Please support CaringBridge.

Sponsored: DressFirst.com Offers Gorgeous Homecoming Dresses at a Great Price!

Sponsored Post

 

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by DressFirst.com.

Homecoming Dress

A few months ago, there was a lot of talk in our house about Ashley (my oldest daughter) making Homecoming Court. Before we found out that Homecoming and her ankle surgery would fall on the same day, we spent hours looking at homecoming dresses 2013 under 100 dollars. Some of our favorite dresses were found on DressFirst.com.

Not only do they offer a huge selection of gorgeous homecoming dresses 2013, they offer them at a very reasonable price. Most of their dresses include free standard shipping, which means you’ll have your dress in 5 – 9 business days, and you’ll soon be wearing one of the prettiest dresses around. And no one has to know you didn’t pay a fortune for it!

Not only does DressFirst.com offer beautiful homecoming dresses, they also offer wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, cocktail dresses, evening dresses, and so much more. They even have a beautiful selection of Mother of the Bride dresses. If you aren’t sure what you want, be sure to utilize their Live Chat option and talk with someone that can help you find that perfect gown.

Please take a few minutes to browse the selection of gowns and dresses at DressFirst.com. I’m sure you’ll find just the dress you’ve been dreaming of to make your event spectacular!

Dress Up A Hostess Twinkie Like a Minion #Sponsored

Sponsored Post

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Hostess.

minion_contest

My kids are SO excited about the upcoming release of Despicable Me 2 on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD. It is the biggest topic of conversation around here. “Mom, is it December 10th yet?” “How many more days?” “Can we get Despicable Me 2 as soon as it comes out?” The questions never end. But what they don’t know is that I’ve already put my order in for the movie. We just have to wait for it to ship to us. They are going to be so excited!

Because “Minion fever” is in the air everywhere, Hostess is inviting fans all across the country to unleash their creativity and “Minion-ize” their Twinkies. In doing so, you get the chance at winning some fantastic prizes!

Now through January 5, 2014, visit the Hostess Facebook Page and Check out the Hostess Twinkie Minion Makeover App to download lots of different Minion accessories and start turning your Twinkies into Minions. Then, upload pictures of your fabulous little creation to enter to win a daily prize. (Daily prizes include a Despicable Me 2 Blu-ray and special offers from Hostess.) Or, you could be lucky enough to win the grand prize: a Home Theater System, a collection of 30 Blu-ray disks, and a year’s supply of Hostess treats!

Ok, you know what to do. Head on over to the Hostess Facebook Page and start Minion-izing your Twinkies to win!!

Good luck to all who enter!

CaringBridge & Hallmark Caring Messages Card Contest #Sponsored #MC

Sponsored PostDisclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for CaringBridge. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

 

UCC_CardContestImage

When I was 18 years old, my Daddy was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer. In fact, when he was diagnosed, he was one of only 5 people with the same form of cancer in all of North America. I was a single mom, still living at home, and working a full time job, but every second that I spent at home, I spent taking care of my Daddy. It was a lot of hard work. It was a lot of sleepless nights, and hardly any rest. He was so sick and required so much care. And it broke my heart to see my Daddy, the strongest man I knew, withering away because of cancer.

I never took care of Daddy for recognition or because I “had” to. I did it because I loved him, and I wanted him to know that I would be there to help him in any way that I could.

Do you know someone who goes above and beyond to care for someone they love? If so, please keep reading. I want to tell you about a special contest that Hallmark Cards and CaringBridge have put together.

The contest is called the “Caring Messages” card contest, and it will be held during National Caregiver Month.

From October 28th through November 17th, the “Caring Messages” card contest asks participants to draw on their personal experiences – either as a caregiver themselves, or as someone that receives care – and create a message of love and support that is appropriate for a caregiver. Those that participate can submit one card idea in each of the following categories on www.hallmarkcontests.com:

  • Support & Encouragement: What can you say to help them get through the day, or lift up their spirits? Let them know you are thinking of them, and cheer them on with happy thoughts.
  • Compliments & Appreciation: Let someone know how much you admire them because of what they do and how they do it.
  • Words from the Wise: If you have ever been a caregiver for someone you love, you know what it’s like. Write a supportive message for others based on what you’ve learned or what you needed to hear when you were caring for a loved one.

The goal of the contest is to provide patients, caregivers, and supports with love, hope, and compassion. Winners will be announced in February and will receive a cash prize. Their entry will then be sold at Hallmark.com with in-store sale to be determined.

If you have a word of encouragement or love to share with someone that is caring for others, please take a moment to enter the “Caring Messages” contest.

Women Driven to Success: You Can Have YOUR All #Book #Sponsored

Sponsored PostDisclaimer: This is a sponsored post for the book “Women Driven to Success: You Can Have YOUR All.”

Women Driven to Success: You Can Have YOUR ALLWhat does “having it all” really mean, and what does it take to get it all? Dr. Jane Goldner believes that success is not a one-size-fits-all concept. Throughout the book, Women Driven to Success: You Can Have YOUR All, Dr. Goldner shows readers that “it all” is different for every person, and each person must figure out what “her all” is. The book is based on her own life experiences as well as those of 14 other highly successful senior-level professional women. It provides examples of positive role modeals as well as a tool kit for women to define and live “their all.”

Topics covered in the book include:

  • The importance of defining your own CORE or “North Star.”
  • Why being “everything to everybody” is NOT the answer.
  • Learning the skills of negotiation and confrontation.
  • The difference between taking personal time to stay healthy and having to take time to be sick.
  • So Much More!

Dr. Goldner is a business consultant with nearly 30 years of experience. She has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies, the US Military, and hand in hand with some of the top executive leaders in the country. She is an professor at the Coles School of Business Kennesaw State University and also in the Leadership and Organization Development Master’s Degree Program at PCOM.

If you want to know how to find YOUR “all,” and get on the path to success, I encourage you to pick up your copy of Women Driven to Success: You Can Have YOUR All today. At just $9.99 for a Kindle copy, this is an excellent value, and one that shouldn’t be passed up!

Click here to purchase your copy now.

Weary in Waiting, but God is Still Good

Have you ever had a need, and it seemed like the harder you prayed, the longer God made you wait?

I have been in your shoes. I want to share my story with you.

In July of 2012, we found out that blessing #7 was on the way. We were thrilled, and we knew that we would need to start looking for a passenger van. After all, our Expedition only seated 8 people, and with 7 children, that meant we would either be driving 2 vehicles, or someone would have to be strapped to the roof of the Expedition. (Not really, but you know what I mean.)

So, we started praying and searching for a van. We prayed, and we searched. Prayed harder, and we searched longer.

Still, nothing worked out. Either the vans were too old, too expensive, or only a 9 passenger.

By Christmas, I was weary in the waiting. I felt like my prayers weren’t getting any farther than the ceiling, because there was just no answer from God. I was discouraged, depressed, and growing more anxious by the day.

It was then that I decided to stop praying for the van. I stopped asking God for what we needed, and I started focusing on my relationship with Christ. I still stumbled and fell, but I drew myself closer to Him.

At the beginning of February, my faith had been rekindled, and I just knew God was going to answer my prayer for a van.

I sat down with my husband, and I asked him to give me 30 days. No looking online for vans, no making phone calls. I just wanted to pray faithfully and continually for 30 days that God would supply our need for a van. I just knew He was going to answer, and I knew it was going to take Him less than 30 days to bring the perfect van to us.

For the next 30 days, I prayed. And I prayed. I cried and begged God for a van. Every.single.day. I spent my quiet time with Him on my knees in prayer, weeping, and praying that He would supply the van.

Thirty days passed, and still no van. I’m not quite sure what I was expecting. Maybe someone to drive to our house, leave a van in the driveway, and hand me the keys and the title free and clear? I don’t doubt God could do that, but He decided not to. Probably to teach me a different lesson than the one I wanted to learn.

In March, we started our search for a van again. We looked online, did drive-bys, made phone calls. So many phone calls.

All the while, I kept waiting, praying, and seeking His face. I knew He wasn’t going to bless me with anything if I wasn’t doing everything in my power to be as close to Him as I possibly could.

Quiet time was spent in my closet – searching His Word and praying for His guidance.

And still I waited.

By the end of the summer, I had pretty much given up hope of ever finding a van. I was convinced that this was the lesson in patience God wanted me to learn, and I was just going to have to rest on His perfect reason for not wanting us to have a van.

Hubby and I stopped talking about “the” van. I never stopped praying for it, but we didn’t talk about it at all.

On August 30th, I happened upon a quote in my Bible and updated my Facebook status to say this:

praying for a van

This status update ended up becoming a talk about the safety of passenger vans, other options for large families, and more frustration than I ever could have imagined.

That evening, Gene and I researched the safety of vans and other options, and my next status looked more like this:

still praying

At that point, I was more confused than ever. Luckily, several friends put me in touch with several different large families. I was able to speak with others who had once been in the exact situation we were, and they were able to calm my nerves and help me let go of my frustration. One sweet lady even prayed with me over the phone. The kindness and compassion in her voice as she called out to God on my behalf is something I never want to forget.

On Wednesday, Sept. 4th, hubby had a meeting for work and it took him in Gainesville. As he drove there, he passed a car dealership. (This car dealership is less than 5 minutes past where he works every day.) There, on the lot was a 15 passenger van. He had to work the next two days, so we didn’t get the chance to call about the van. I was certain it wouldn’t work out anyway, but I prayed that if it was supposed to be our van, it would still be there that weekend.

On Friday evening, hubby called the car dealership, and asked about the van. It was still there! We made an appointment to come down and see it the next morning… which also happened to be our 11th wedding anniversary.

We sat at the car dealership for hours while they tried to work everything out with our trade in, financing, and everything else. We sat on the couch and I prayed and prayed and prayed.

Yet I still tried not to get my hopes up. I just knew it was all going to fall through, and once again, we would have to leave the dealership empty handed and brokenhearted.

Around 1:00 that afternoon (after being there from 10am), they called us into the office to sign the paperwork on the van. It was really happening. We were going to have a vehicle that our whole family could fit in. I was still skeptical, though. I was sick to my stomach and so afraid something was going to happen and we still weren’t going to get the van.

However, a few minutes before 2:30pm, they handed us the keys, and we drove off the lot. It was official. We had a new (to us) van.

our van

I still can’t believe it. After a year of praying, we have a van sitting in our driveway. We can all load up in the van and drive to church as a family. No more taking 2 cars everywhere we need to go, there’s plenty of room here for all of us. And more. :)

And what truly blows me away is that He not only answered and supplied our need, He also supplied my want. I didn’t want a white van. I have a “stalker van” complex, and the thought of loading up my family into a white van made me nervous. But now I don’t even have to worry about that. This van is definitely not white. :)

I am blown away by what God has done for us, and I want you to know that He knows YOUR needs too. He hears your prayers, and He will answer when the time is perfect. It might not be as soon as you want, but it will happen. Just hold on and keep trusting Him.

I want to close with a verse: Psalms 84:11 KJV – “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

Keep trusting Him, and He will bring it to pass. It might not happen in an instant, but your need will be met.

Have you grown weary in waiting? What verses are you leaning on to keep you going while you wait for an answer from Him?

9 Ways to Save Electricity Around the Office #GuestPost #Sponsored

Sponsored PostDisclaimer: This post is a sponsored post, and I have been compensated for my time in creating this post.

 

In a world of increasing eco-consciousness and the thought that we all must do our bit to save the planet, a needless waste of electricity is never a good thing. Here are some tips to help save electricity in the workplace:

1. Last one out – turn off the lights!

It sounds ridiculous, but you don’t leave the lights on when you leave home do you? Well maybe you do, but it’s a senseless waste of energy – the same holds true in the workplace. Make it a habit to turn off the lights when you’re done for the day. After all, who needs to see your desk clutter when you’re not there?

2. Make use of natural light

Of course, you may even be blessed with huge windows and a great source of natural light – keep your windows clean and raise the blinds when possible and you may not even need to flick the lights on during brighter days – win win!

3. Power off, not standby

Many people consider leaving their monitors and computers in standby mode as a great energy saver. Well it’s true that it’s more efficient than leaving it all fully powered, but actually turning them off is even better. Sure leaving your PC on saves you time in the morning, but 16 hours on standby isn’t really necessary.

4. Fancy a brew? Make a team cuppa!

Try and coordinate your tea breaks so you only need to boil your kettle once. If everyone takes their drinks at different times, the constant reheating of water is a truly great way to waste valuable electricity.

5. Presence detector lighting

Perhaps you have a separate room that houses the printers and photocopiers – if so, it’s likely you leave the lights on all day even when there’s nobody using the equipment. Fit presence detector lighting and after a short period of inactivity, the lights will be switched off automatically – simple!

6. Reduce heating by 1 degree

Nobody likes to work in the cold, but many offices are overheated, particularly those containing lots of warm bodies – turn down the heating control by a single degree and see how much energy you can save! Cheap electricity bills are not common these days, so don’t waste energy!

7. Avoid screen savers

They may look pretty or ‘cool’, but screen savers gobble up power. If you’re away from your desk, switch your monitor off or power down; after all, you’re not there to see all that energy being wasted anyway are you?

8. Energy efficient light bulbs

They sometimes get a bad press, but energy efficient bulbs really do save an awful lot of electricity. Make it a practice to install them wherever possible and you’ll find the savings mount up rapidly.

9. Stay cool – the natural way

We’ve all been trapped in boiling hot offices in the height of summer; it’s not a pleasant experience. However, rather than arraying fans at every conceivable angle, close the blinds, open any windows that you can, and help cool the room the natural way. If you do need to employ a fan, again make sure it’s switched off when you’re out to lunch or at a meeting.

With a little careful thought and some common sense, it’s relatively easy to cut down on your electricity and energy consumption – if your workplace runs a scheme rewarding efficiency and a “greener” environment, you can even incentivise your colleagues and staff to improve their habits along the way!

Big Sale Coming to Taylor Joelle Designs

Disclaimer: I am not being compensated for this post in any way. There are no affiliate links or any other compensated links in this post. I just wanted to share the new line with my readers.

taylor joelle promotion

I love kids’ clothes. A lot. :) And I love getting cute kids clothes at a great price!

Starting September 23rd, you will be able to pre-order Taylor Joelle’s fall collection, Black and Bright. (These items should be ready to ship by October 10th.) To celebrate the release of this super adorable collection, it will be 35% off from September 23 (at 8am MST) through October 6.

Also available will be their Black Tie and Make your Wish collections. (These collections will also be on sale.)

And, as if that wasn’t enough exciting news, their absolutely adorable ruffle leggings, (one of my favorite products!), will be restocked and on sale during the first week of the sale.

Don’t miss this exciting sale at Taylor Joelle Designs, and your chance to get some really cute outfits for your little ones at a fraction of the cost.

What I Wish People Knew About Me

I had a conversation with a dear friend a couple of nights ago. In this conversation, she mentioned, (in a loving way, not condescending at all), that many people in our church think that I am hard to get to know, or even stuck up because I don’t put myself out there to make friends.

Now, I knew this, because she and I had talked about this before. It didn’t make it hurt any less, especially because it’s true. I don’t make friends easily. I don’t put myself out there. In the past, it was always because I was afraid of getting hurt. I am one who tends to give all that I have for a friend, and it’s come back to bite me many times over.

what i wish people knew about meOver the past few years, though, my reasons for not going out of my way to form friendships have changed. My life is now consumed by my responsibilities at home. My marriage, our seven kids, the laundry, the dishes, the fact that we don’t have a vehicle that seats all of us, the fact that hubby’s car is sitting in our driveway and is broken… and on, and on, and on.

Yet somehow, (by God’s grace), I am always at church at least 20 – 30 minutes early. Most people are amazed by this, but here’s what they don’t understand:

When I walk into church, it’s my chance to catch my breath. I walk in the door, get the kids settled, sit in the pew, and just exhale. For those 20 – 30 minutes, I don’t have to think about anything going on at home, our vehicles, or anything else that might be stressing me out. It’s my chance to sit, quiet my heart and my spirit, and pray that God will use that service to speak to me. Also during this time, I take the chance to look around and take in those also in the church. If I notice someone looks like they are having a rough day, I will stop right there and pray for them. Sometimes I get up and go to them, but usually they are already surrounded by people, and I’m afraid of interfering. So I just pray.

I will say, though, that if someone does happen to come up to me before a service, I will immediately stop what I am doing, and they are given my full attention. Always.

This is an area that God is really dealing with me. A Bible study I did recently referred to it as being a “Here I Am” person instead of a “There You Are” person. Simply put, it means that you want people to come to you, rather than going out of your way to find them. I don’t ever want anyone to think that I don’t care about their needs. And I am trying. Really. I am not the social butterfly that my husband is, but I am working on it. I want people to know that they are important to me, and I care about what is going on with them.

I’m just finding it hard to give up those few minutes of peace and quiet with my Savior before each church service.

So, the next time you see me sitting alone before a church service, please don’t think me rude. Please feel free to come and let me know if you have a need or just want to talk. I would love to know specifically how I can better pray for you, and I’d love to hear about your day.

And, I promise, I will do my best to get out of my seat more often and let you know how important you are to me and that you are loved.