ch-ch-ch-changes….

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. vs. 26

Change. That’s what’s happening around this blog. I exciting have good news…..

Becoming a Proverbs 31 Woman is getting a domain! Yep, it is getting ready to be http://www.becomingaproverbs31woman.com.

Also, I will be getting a host, switching from wordpress.com to wordpress.org, and getting a whole new look! (This may seem like a foreign language to you. If so, don’t worry. I explain in laymen terms below).

By the way, ask we speak, I am listening to David Bowie’s song Changes. I find it suiting. It really has nothing to do with blogging; however, it’s getting me pumped. Wanna listen? Check it out.

Anyway, off of the side note now.

So what does this mean for you as a reader? Well, you will soon see a lot of changes. Obviously. You may check out the blog one day, and it look totally under construction. That means it is. However, once it’s finished, hopefully you will love it! There will be more features, and it will be more customized. It hopefully will be easier for you to navigate. Please keep checking back. Don’t stop checking. It will be done soon, I promise.

I am thankful for my readers, and I hope to be hearing from you all about the changes soon! Thanks for making this possible.

Feel free to ask questions/give me feedback about this 🙂

 

 

first feature: cozy home scenes.

Hello readers! I have exciting news. I was featured in a blog by Shannon called Cozy Home Scenes. Every Monday she has a Cozy Home Party (link party). I started participating this last week. And then she decided to feature my post Pie in Mason Jar.

Shannon  has a love for making all things in a home cozy. Her blog gives recipes, home decorating ideas, crafts, and lots of creative goodness.

Check her out and give her some lovely comments!

let’s take a moment to reflect.

Blogging has become one of my new passions. However, I must sometimes step back and remember the real reason I started this blog in the first place. To publicly live out and go on this journey of becoming a Proverbs 31 woman. Why publicly? Two reasons: to motivate myself to actually do it and to inspire others.

One thing that I have to remember is that while it’s great that I am learning the functionality of a woman and how God wired me with the potential to be a homemaker extraordinaire, it’s most important to allow God to change my heart. By that I mean, not just going through the motions of making delicious dinners for my future hubby and teaching myself how to do crafty things, but rather allowing God to do this work inside of my that only He can do. To teach me how to care for other human beings more than I care for myself. To give me a heart for children so I can someday be a mother that puts their needs before mine. To learn to biblically submit to my husband and not whine when I don’t get my way. To prioritize my life in a way that  puts Jesus above all. And to focus on my inward more than my outward appearance. And guess what I have found out? I can’t do it. I can’t become righteous. Because then it’s self-righteousness, which is the exact opposite of what needs to happen. Only my Maker can show me what He created me for and guide my in the way that I should go. Only He can change me. Only He can make me that woman. My job is to simply let Him in so He can do His work. Yes, I have to put some effort into it. Yet I must be careful to not become prideful at how “good of a woman” I am becoming. Because if that happens, then I have defeated the purpose of becoming a Proverbs 31 woman.

So keep me in check, readers! And come on this journey with me….because I sure enjoy learning how God designed me to be.

ringing in the new year.

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. vs. 25

I don’t particularly like New Years Resolutions. Most of the time, I feel stressed out to accomplish them and then whenever I don’t accomplish it, I feel guilty. Why start the year putting all of these expectations on myself? However, I do like having yearly goals. You may be thinking, “Isn’t that the same thing?” Well, in my mind, not exactly. These are things that I want to fill 2012 with. Things I want to do, things I want to learn, and things I want to own/buy. When December 31, 2012 comes around and it is time to do another “yearly goal” list; if I didn’t buy one of the items I wanted to buy or  learn something I wanted to learn, then I can simply decide it’s not something I need to do or I can try to do it the next year. See the difference? Less pressure. It’s good to have life goals.  A resolution can definitely be a goal, but I just don’t like to feel like I HAVE to do it or else I failed. Not for me. So anyway, I am ringing in the New Year with my yearly goals. I hope that throughout my blogging experience in  2012, I can look back at this regularly and then blog about how that goal was met, accomplished, or I decided it wasn’t worth it.

In the year 2012…


Things I want to do:

Spend time with Jesus in the morning hours.

Work out in the mornings regularly rather than just sometimes mornings, sometimes evenings, and sometimes not at all.

Get out of bed when my alarm goes off..the first time.

Don’t be a stressed out bridezilla on my wedding day or any time before.

Make Kaleb happy by having spontaneous surprises for him.

Cook more delcicious-looking & delcious-tasting food.

Start making homemade soap and washing detergent.

Read a book of the Bible from start to finish that I haven’t completely read through yet.

Get engaged in a really good show on netflix and watch all of the series (like Lost..I am almost finished!)

Fully enjoy graduate school…and not just be anxious to graduate and start  “real life.” (be content)

Become more fluent in German.

Things I want to learn:

Learn how to sew.

Learn how to restore old furniture. Like Vintage Junky does.

Learn how to do a fishtail braid. Like this.

Learn how to play violin better (summer goal when I only have one class).

Things I want to own:

A puppy…one as cute as this will do 😉

A vintage chandelier (so far, I haven’t found one under $250..I am determined to find one WAY cheaper.)

Vintage electronics for Kaleb’s soon-to-be office.

A craft room/office that looks as cute as this…

A white Christmas tree… (I am allergic to real Christmas trees and I LOVE the white ones)


P.s.- The highlight of 2012: I am getting married to my favorite man in the whole universe!!!

Yep, that deserves 3 exclamation points.

Tell me: what are you most excited about for 2012?

gatherings.

She is energetic and strong,  a hard worker. vs. 17

I have discovered something about myself in this past year. I love having people over to my house. The more, the better.

I frequently like to invite various people over. Every Tuesday, we have small group, and we prepare a full meal. But besides that I like to have: couples, kids, families, a whole bunch of girls, and anyone, really over to my apartment. It’s kinda like the epitome of my week if I get to have a gathering at my place.  So, I have learned a few tricks of the trade with having girls nights, dinner parties, small group, etc…

Sometimes I invite 20 people and 4 show up. Is that ok? Yes, yes it definitely is. Sometimes I invite 20 people and 25 show up. Is that also ok? It’s more than ok!

I thought I could give some tips on how to successfully have a gathering at your home:

1. Talk it up.

If you invited a whole bunch of people say on facebook, talk to them face-to-face about it too. And whenever you see them say things like, “Man, I am so excited for the get-together on Saturday! I’ll see you there right?” It really works. Because then they talk to their friends about it, and suddenly everyone is really excited about this get-together.

2. If you are doing a full meal for someone, ask if they have allergies or have a special diet.

This is really important because I sometimes have people over that are on a fast, are vegans, or are lactose intolerant. You want them to be able to eat just like everyone else. If you have knowledge of these specifications, they you can prepare something for them. And, they will appreciate you all the more.

3. Ask people to bring something.

A full meal alone for 10+ people can easily cost $30. I like having people over; however, I don’t like draining my bank account. Most of the time, people are more than happy to contribute in some small way.

4. Don’t get discouraged if not a lot of people show up.

Let me tell you a secret….come real close….. Sometimes less is more. Numbers does not equal fun or quality time. Sometimes, I enjoy just having 3 close girls over so we can share our deepest secrets rather than 20 where deep talk gets lost…it’s okay if it didn’t go as planned. Roll with it.

5. Smile.

I have a problem. Whenever I am in charge, my mind is so busy, and I forget to smile. I sometimes will have a room full of lots of people, and I feel so busy getting everything ready and talking to everyone that I forget to just laugh, smile, and be in the moment. Enjoy the company…they will feel your stress, even if you pretend like you’re not stressed. They can feel it. So don’t stress!

6. Try preparing new foods.

While it’s simple to grab a frozen pizza and pop it in the oven, go outside of your comfort zone, and make something new. Some unique salad or dessert no one has ever heard of. I bet they will talk about it later and tell how much they enjoyed it. Disclaimer: frozen pizza for parties is not bad. I just mean, don’t be afraid to try something new.

7. Set out plates, silverware, cups, etc.. ahead of time.

This is important because whenever people get there, they are probably pretty hungry. If they see all this food, then they just want to start eating. Whether you are using glass plates or paper plates, set the table early or set the plates out buffet style before they get there. Organization is key.

8. Have fun!

Enough said. Relationships with people is probably one of the best gifts besides salvation God has given us on this earth. Enjoy it, and make time for it. You won’t regret it.

energy tips.

She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household  vs. 15

I like mornings. I didn’t use to. But I have grown to love that time of day.

As a student, waking up early is crucial in order to get everything done in a day. Very rarely am I able to take a day to truly sleep in or do nothing. That’s ok with me. I have grown to like a life where waking up early is a constant. It keeps me motivated.

So…I thought I could post some tips that I have learned (and found online) that help you have energy in the morning and throughout the day.

Perfect time for this considering it’s finals right now eh?

1. Don’t think about sleep.

I use to wake up and all day think about how I need a nap. My thoughts were something like this: “I am sooo tired. I wonder when I can squeeze a nap in. I really need to start getting more sleep. Why am I always so tired?” Basically, feeling sorry for myself that I am an adult now and have responsibilities, like waking up early every day.

2. Vitamins.

Specifically, B12 helps a lot. Whenever I had mono, I took this every day. It really did help me.

3. Work out.

I use to say, “I don’t have time.” Yes I did. I just didn’t make time. I have less time now in life and work out more. Why? Because I made it an absolute priority. And I feel a lot better: energy & self-esteem.

4. Eat Breakfast.

I’m no nutrition expert, but metabolism is a real thing. Scott H Young’s blog says, “Skipping meals throw your metabolism out of balance, causing you to gain fat and lose energy. Skipping breakfast also means your blood sugar will be low in the morning and energy levels down.” I believe him.

5. Don’t set your alarm off a million, thousand times.

Guilty as charge. Yes, I am. This morning I think I set it off about 3 times…uh, I need to work on that. The mornings I actually get up whenever it goes off the first time (which is very rare), I feel SO much better.

6. Naps are not a necessity.

I use to take naps a lot. I have stopped and rarely take naps anymore. Instead if I need to rest, I will lay in bed watching a 3o minute tv show and then get up. Normally, my 30 minute naps would be 1 hour naps, and then I couldn’t go to sleep at night. AND a felt groggy the rest of the day. Blah. A bad habit for me I had to break.

7. Eat smaller portions, more often.

In the past week, I have eaten a potluck and a few buffet meals (which is not typical for me). After every one of those meals, I wanted to take a huge nap. I felt so tired. Whenever I stick to my normal schedule of like soup/salad for lunch and snack (like nuts or popcorn) before dinner, I don’t feel as exhausted as eating one big lunch.

8. Wash your face.

I always feel better once I get water on my face in the mornings.

9. Quiet your mind.

I think a lot. Probably at a rate double most people. It wears me out. I feel like I am running a marathon in my mind. Sometimes I have to ask Jesus to help quiet my mind and focus my thoughts on the moment I am in.


o tannenbaum.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. vs. 31

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Since my last Christmas post, we have more decorations up AND our Christmas tree!

This morning I was reminiscing on whenever I was a child and my mom and I would sing O Tannenbaum around this time. (actually, we still sing this together). It started when I was a wee one.

If you have never heard it, it’s worth listening to. “O Christmas Tree” in German.

Here’s our Tannenbaum…

Also, I have been really excited to buy discounted Christmas decorations in January so I can start to have a collection of decorations for our first Christmas together next year!

So tell me: What’s your favorite part of Christmas?

money saving tips.

“She shops around for the best yarns and cottons…” vs. 13a  (The Message version)

I moved out of my parents house a little over 3 years ago to come to SIUC for school. Needless to say, I have learned a lot over those years about saving money through my experiences of not using my money as wisely as I should have. These are just some practical tips I have learned about being a good steward of the money that really isn’t ours in the first place. Hope these tips are reasonable and helpful:

1. Bring your own lunch. Get creative. Make it work. You don’t have to eat out every day.

2. Don’t get a hair cut one week and three weeks later get your hair dyed. It’s way more money like that. Do it as a package deal, you can save up to 15-20 dollars.

3.  Make eating out a special occasion: a date, time with friends, etc..don’t just eat out when you feel like it.

4. Do your grocery shopping at Aldi’s. Obviously, they don’t always have everything, but if you make a list and go there first then go to Wal-Mart, Kroger, etc..afterward to get the rest of your items, you can save a lot of money. On average, a grocery bill that would have cost $45 from Kroger’s, costs $30 at Aldi’s.

5. Menu planning. Every week I look at the food I have and food I need and plan every meal (even snacks). That way I use the groceries sitting in my pantry and only buy groceries I will actually eat. (Of course, there’s a little wiggle room…buy a few extra things sometimes so you don’t have to always stick to your menu perfectly if you are feeling like eating something different).

6. If you really have been thinking, “I really want a new pair of jeans,” wait 1 week. Think about it. More than likely, after that week you will either talk yourself out of it or realize you really do have a need for jeans and buy them. Buying on impulse is often not good.

7. If you are planning on going to the mall, google coupons for the stores you are going to. Type in something like: “Kohl’s printable coupons.” You can often find some. OR get on the retail store’s facebook, and sometimes they have deals on there too.

8. Carpool. Helps the environment and your pocketbook.

9. If you are feeling like decorating your home, go to the GoodWill. If you look hard enough, you can almost always find some neat candle or something that will fulfill your decorating desires.

10. Be happy with what you have. Most of the things we want to buy in life we don’t really need. Now that doesn’t mean we can’t ever buy ourselves anything. However, if you make it a special occasion to buy something for  yourself you really like then, it’s much more exciting.

11. Order water whenever you go out to eat. A soda at some places can cost 2 dollars and up! While that may not seem like a lot of money, it adds up quickly. (get a soda or tea every once and a while, you’ll appreciate it more).

12. Save change. It works. It’s always really exciting whenever you go to cash it in.

13. Whenever you eat out, split meals with someone. You can even order an appetizer and one meal to split and it’s often cheaper than two full meals.

14. Regularly read blogs that give good saving money tips. Here are some options:

A Blossoming Life- this is my friend Amy’s blog. She is a newlywed who is really crafty and good at making homemade stuff, which saves you tons of money!

Money Saving Mom–  my friend Leslie introduced me to this blog. It’s one of the best I’ve seen. (It’s not just for moms!)

Money Saving Secrets– this is a blog I have recently discovered. Right now it has a good post for college students about saving money on textbooks..check it out!

WiseBread– this blog use to be the Frugal Duchess and she recently changed it to WiseBread. It’s all about using wisdom to living a frugal life.

This is a learning process for me, just like everyone else. So tell me: What are some of your money saving tips?

from a house to a home.

Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all. vs. 29

Wanna know a secret? I love having people over to my house. It makes it a home. Actually, having people over to my apartment..which feels like a little house…is one of my favorite things in life.

Every Tuesday night small group is at my house. Well, due to the Thanksgiving break, we decided to have our small group (Steven Bonney’s) & another group (Dustin Overturf’s) over to my place for hangout night.

Here’s my philosophy about having people over: The more people, the better.

That’s what happened last night. About 20+ people came over. We ate lots of food and played lots of games. What games you might ask? Mafia…duh! 😀 No really, we played fun group games like Mafia, Psychiatrist, and Catch Phrase.

The night looked like this: lots of people (some who didn’t previously know each other) , building new relationships, having full stomachs, and laughing really hard…the entire night.

Gee, I am still on a high from all that laughter. God is good…He gives lots of  joy.

I hope that I always feel excited about having lots of people over to my house. That’s really what makes it a home. I hope to be a woman like vs. 29 that really does it excellently. I want to put my heart into it. That’s what makes it worth it.

impersonal intimacies.

She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. vs. 17

How do I become a woman of strength? Working on my bi-ceps, tri-ceps, and all those other ceps my body has? Well, yes. But not really the kinda strength I mean.

I went to the Vine Women’s Conference on Saturday…

Impersonal Intimacies: The Deceptions of False Identity in Social Networking.

The only way that I can be that strong woman after God’s heart is if  I have transparent relationships with other godly women in my life…so they can hold me up when I don’t have the strength, be honest with me about my weaknesses, and help me discover the identity God created for me rather than this image that I want to portray.

I learned a lot. God showed me a lot. I want to reflect on some of those things so I can remind myself to actually live this out:

The first talk was about our identity.

– Who are we really? What is our true identity? The identity God gave us whenever He made us alive in Him rather than dead in sin. Rather than the identity we portray through social media.

– I tend to be a people pleaser. I find my identity in how other people view me. I am praying Jesus will change that in me. I will find my identity in Him and how He looks at me.

-People’s approval is an appetite for me, I crave it. I have to learn to say NO to those appetites. I don’t need anyone’s approval.

-There can be a lot of insecurity wrapped up in social media…if you are single and want to be engaged, or not pregnant and want to be pregnant, guard your heart in social media. Meaning: you don’t have to look at all the pictures of your friends and their new spouse/baby. You don’t have to look at how “awesome” other people’s lives are and desire that too. God has a perfect plan. Follow that plan. Know your vulnerabilities and guard yourself in social media.

-It’s okay to say, “I don’t have it all together.” Oh gee, I needed to hear that. You won’t hear me complain or see me not smiling very often. Even when the last thing I want to do is smile. I am going to try and be more genuine. It’s okay if things are going perfect in my life, it’s okay that if my room is messy for a day, it’s okay if I ordered fast food for the night because I didn’t want to cook. Why must I feel that I have to portray this perfect image? Guess what? I don’t have it all together.

-Don’t try to be someone else. Enough said.

-The last part of this talk about “What is it to you.” She said a lot of statements that started with this…not in a harsh manner but rather speaking truth to us.

-What is it to you that she was asked to do this and you weren’t?

– What is it to you the her kids are well-behaved?

– What is it to you that she is engaged and you are still single?

– What is is to you that she was called on a church plant and you weren’t’?

Exactly! Why do I care about things like that? I just wanna be who God made me. Not the person I see all these other people being or portraying to be through social networking.

The second talk was about transparency.

-First, it’s important to grow comfortable and embrace who you are…even if you are “under construction.” <- which by the way, we all are.

-Am I truly transparent with other women? What areas do I tend to hold back? Identify the areas I keep secret.

– Through prayer, pick women that can be there to hold you accountable.

– What transparency is not: a one way conversation, telling just part of the story, getting to know others and not letting them get to know you.

-Transparency= truth teller.

– Living out our faith in community. It’s meant to be lived out together.

-Transparency brings freedom!

-Things we have to surrender in order to be transparent:pride, embarrassment, “fake it until you make it” attitude, perfection.

-Once you get a taste of a transparent relationship, you won’t want anything else.

-When you keep stuff in (stuff from the past, current struggles, etc..) it holds power of you.

-Yes, we can speak truth in our lives; however, it helps SO much to have others speak truth to your life as well. Freedom comes with that.

The third and final talk was about friendships.

-We have a lot of social media “friends” but those aren’t true friendships, unless you are extremely selective in social networking.

-A friendship is a special type of relationship.

-We all need each other.

-Friendships should be balanced. Don’t think you will “save” someone. Only God can do that.

-It takes true commitment to be a true friend.

-A friendship is sometimes telling people what we notice is their weaknesses are.

-Not everyone is supposed to be your close friend. That’s okay.

-Although confrontation is not easy, it is often necessary. Especially if the friendships changes due to someone moving, someone getting married, a new baby, etc..You won’t be the same friends as you were before. That’s okay. Have a conversation about that. If not, there will be a disconnect that will cause  conflict. Conversations saying, “Hey, even though life has changed..you are still my friend. We are different friends. We may not see each other as much due to life changes…yet still friends.”

-Do you need to be fed compliments from people on social networking sites? This isn’t healthy.

So, BAM! Jesus did good things at this conference. I am thankful for other women whom I can be transparent with.

Also….I have been cooking….promise. I just have been a little lacking in posting about it. whoops!

I cooked this last week…broccoli cheese soup with Cinnamon bread.

Then last night  I cooked a HUGE breakfast…an omelet with green peppers, onions, and cheese, turkey bacon, and hash browns. Greasy but delicious 😀

I had never made an omelet before. It was fun.