Welcome to the fabulous and sometimes insane life
of a working mother who is trying hard not to
let her whole existence be determined by her
cute little munchkins, yet continues to be drawn
in by the adorable and sometimes annoying tiny people!

Monday, September 17, 2012

It Hurts to Give

I am the first to admit that I do not tithe the way I should. You are supposed to tithe 10% of your income and the thought of doing that makes me cringe. It would be like 2 car payments if we tithed the amount my husband and I both bring in each month. We feel like we are barely making ends meet now, even though we make way more than most households, I am sure.
Yet, we give every month. It is not what we should give, and every month I try to give a little more and a little more. We are not where we should be but we are trying. I am so glad that God is not just "trying". I am so glad that He doesn't just give me 10%. I am so glad that He gives me 100%, and I am so very unworthy.

What I have found is that when I tithe like I should, amazing things happen. Amazing things are not the reason why you should tithe, but they sure make you see how much God loves you and they serve as a witness to others.

My husband is our financial GURU. He is the one who determines what we can give each month. I have even seen the clenching of his jaw when I tithe a little more than he thinks we can afford. I am glad he is the way he is otherwise we would be in some major trouble in these uncertain economic times.

With that said, I wanted to share a recent tithing experience. Anyone following my blog, knows that I have started a new business venture. I am selling the items I create for my classroom on the site Teachers Pay Teachers.  I have my own Tricks of the Trade store on the site and have started another blog called Tricks of the Teaching Trade.

Tricks of the Teaching Trade
I have done really well with this  business. As of September 4, I had earned about $875. I was feeling really good about myself until I saw in a TpT newsletter that one seller had earned $100,000 in the three months of June-August. 100,000!! I started looking at what I could do to improve sales. I "Pinned" my products, posted on Facebook, shared on Google +, and Tweeted nonstop. Then it hit me...I had not once said a prayer asking for God's blessing!

So I stopped right then and prayed. I prayed that God would bless my business, help teachers find my products helpful in teaching, and grant me the creativeness to create quality products. I then heard God speak...well, He sounded a lot like me...but I still know it was Him. He asked, "Have you tithed any of the money you have earned?"

So at church that Wednesday night, I did one last check of my total sales and tithed exactly 10% of my earnings so far. When I told my husband about it later, I got a very skeptical look complete with some intense jaw clenching.

Up to that point, it had been 7 months since I started selling and I had earned a total of $900 in those 7 months. That averages out to about $130 a month. The night I told my husband, I prayed that God would help me prove to  my husband that I wasn't crazy.

It is now almost 2 weeks later, and my total sales are at 1,315! That is an increase of almost $500 in just 2 weeks. Not months...WEEKS! In fact, September has been a banner month for my little business so far bringing in $440 and there are still 2 more weeks left.

So yes, sometimes It Hurts to Give. Yes, you can always think of somewhere else that money needs to go. Yes, there will never be enough money. But as much as It Hurts to Give, it feel 10,000 times better to give to God. No you should not tithe because you hope you will gain financially. You should tithe because God is good. He is good in all things and in all things He is good.

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Love Dare

We watched Fireproof for the first time last night. It was so powerful on many levels. While watching it I realized many things:
1. I am not the kind of Christian I should be.
2. I am not the kind of wife I should be.
3. We are not the kind of family I want to be.

As I watched God worked in my heart. He showed me how satisfied you can become if you drink from Him and fill yourself up with him.

I was saved long ago, and I have recommitted my life ....long ago. But it has been a while since I have given everything to the Lord and learned from Him and through Him. I don't study his word like I should. We don't attend church like we should. We are not being the kind of parents, mates, or family we should.

So I recommitted my life last night. I don't want to feel lonely when I am surrounded by tons of people again. I am going to drink of Him freely and change my marriage, my children, my family...my life.

1. I am starting my strengthening myself every day by reading my Bible in the morning and doing a Bible study at night.
2. I am going to do The Love Dare. We need something. It is not that we have a bad marriage or that we are on the verge of divorce. It is just that I want more than what we have, and I know that we can be AMAZING. It is a 40 Day Dare. Here is the first 8:
You can find the rest here.

3. Finally, we need to be the kind of family we should be. We are working on this in several ways. We are working on memorizing a Bible verse a week.

John 12:35-36

New International Version (NIV)
35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”

I am going to help my children learn to walk in the light. By immersing them in the Word. We are ABC bible verses.  
We are also learning to pray with
This goes along with the blog I pinned earlier!

Finally, I vow to join a church by the end of September, we have been in our new town long enough that is no longer new and it is time that we joined a church! We will be members some where by the end of September. Now the question is where??????????

See other ways I plan on Living a Better Life by following my Pinterest board.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

TuTu Cute

I love tutus. They are tutu cute!! The problem is that they are sooooo expensive. I mean just for some tulle and elastic they are anywhere from $25-$60!!

So while I was on my weekly trip to my least favorite place...WalMart (see my post I Hate Wal-Mart) and trying to prolong my trip so that I could have at least 30 minutes to myself even if it was at Wal-Mart, I decided that I could make my girls one. And if I do say so myself, it turned out TUTU cute!!

Plus I can use it on Friday nights for our high school football team or for Saturday afternoon to yell ROLL TIDE ROLL or to celebrate the cheering on our first division 1 recruit who is currently starting at South Carolina!!! Do it T.J. Gurley!

You need:
1. 3/4 elastic 1 yd (you will only use 1/2 of it)=$1.50
2. 3 rolls of tulle (whatever color you would like)=$4.50 each

First, measure the elastic to the length of her waste. You can even cut it a little shorter because it will stretch as you add the tulle.

Cut the ribbon twice the length you want it because you will fold it in half. 

Here is a short video on how to loop the ribbon. Excuse the videography skills...my 8 year old took the helm. Also, I can't figure out how to turn right side up! But you will still see how easy this is!

I attached the elastic together at first but it made it twisted the and turned and made it difficult to do, so I finally just cut it apart. I tied it together after I was about 3/4 of the way around. 

I continued the tulle all the way around until it covered up the knot. Make sure that before you tie it you squish the the toile together otherwise the elastic will show through once she stretches it to put it on. 
I hope you found this helpful and are on the way to making your own tutu!