Thursday, January 26, 2012

When I Sit at YOUR Feet

Good morning all!

Luke 10:38-42

New International Version (NIV)

At the Home of Martha and Mary
 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”   41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I did not get up when I should have this morning. My goal is to be up by 4:30 a.m. so that I have time to get a workout and quiet time in before my shower, hair/makeup routine and then get the kids up and ready and out the door by 6:45/7:00. So far, I have not been able to accomplish this.

Instead, I go to bed late, hit snooze when my alarm goes off at 4:30, again at 5, again at 5:30...until I am jumping out of bed closer to 6 (or later sometimes), rushing around and putting my morning all out of whack!

I am doing the Hello Mornings Challenge by Inspired to Action; some of you may have heard about it and this is my 3rd go round. I check in daily with a group on Facebook and I so love to get to know them through their morning routine and I also find out that this daily struggle that I face, I am not the only one who has it.
I pray for this group of ladies, that they would allow God to change their lives, from when they very first open their eyes in the morning...and I pray this for myself too.

Part of my problem is that I would like everything to be perfect before I lay my head down at night. So if there is laundry not done, toys out, dishes dirty, floors unswept, etc, I will stay up until super late attempting to finish these tasks. And by the way, most every night, I force myself to go to sleep, with probably over half of that not being finished.
I am a full-time working mom, of a 5 1/2 year old and a 23 month old. I work from 8-4:30 with a 30 minute commute between work and home. My husband has a schedule that works like this: 2 weeks on & 2 weeks off, rotating his on weeks between working nights/days.

It is a difficult schedule to work around, and I get overwhelmed. I want so badly to have it all together. To be able to come home, already have meals planned for dinner, no rushing and craziness, and for my house to be clean and organized!

But that is the Martha in me, right :)

I can only do what I can do. I can't do 1000 things...He has called me to do what I can, and to do it all to His Glory! And when I strive to do too much, I fall short in all areas.

Today, I stand in His Presence knowing that if I glorify Him, if I live for Him, if I follow Him, nothing else matters. The craft projects I dream of doing don't matter. The spotless, sparkling home I long for does not matter. The money I dream of saving by extreme couponing does not matter. The cute clothes, the books I want to read, the people I want to please, the "things" that I want to do and see...they don't matter.

But the time that I spend with My Father does.

And for that very reason, I must not dwell on these meaningless tasks...but instead, do what I can do, glorifying Him in all of it, and sitting at His feet, listening to every word He speaks, drinking it in and letting it soak the depths of my heart, mind and down to my feet.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I'm a mommy of 2 beautiful children: Aspen, my sweet and spicy 5 year old daughter and Hunter, my super cuddly and wild almost-2-year old son.
These two keep me going day in and day out, so we pretty much do whatever it takes to give them the best that we can...and you all know how expensive "the best" can be.

About 4 years ago I was working in childcare, in the nursery, and one of my babies' mom began telling me of a children's consignment event that she participates in. I lived in Conway, AR at the time and my Aspen was only 2 years old. Lisa, mom of 2, Meagan and Mason (the baby boy in my class), filled me in on all of the details.

2 Times per year: Spring/Summer & Fall/Winter

  • Purchase, gently used children's clothes for great prices!
  • Consign your gently used children's clothes to make some extra money
  • Volunteer to work during the event to earn early shopping passes
  • Help market the event to earn early shopping passes
  • Sales in about 16 states and about 49 cities!

Lisa told me how awesome the sale was and how it had blessed her family by helping them to save money and stock up on a season's worth of clothes for her kids in one place at one time!
So I jumped in! And I am so thankful!

That first sale, I consigned the minimum amount of clothes and volunteered for 2 shifts. And was able to shop early! I had so much fun working with the other volunteers and the ladies of Rhea Lana's and the shopping was so great! I don't remember how much I spent that first time, but I remember how fulfilling it felt to purchase good, quality clothing at great and affordable prices for my sweet girl!

And since that first time, I have consigned, volunteered, marketed, and shopped til I dropped at Rhea Lana's Consignment Events in Conway!

This year is no different! I attended marketing day at their Conway office, grabbed a car magnet as part of marketing and signed up to work my shifts at the sale!
I have begun pulling out all of Aspen and Hunter's spring/summer wardrobes from last year and going through their toys, books, movies, and games that they have outgrown.
I will begin washing and cleaning up all of the items that are still in good, gently used condition and prepare them to be entered into Rhea Lana's easy-to-use consignor system. In this system I customize everything that the labels will say: the description of the item, the size and the price, with a minimum price of $3.
I also get to choose if I would like this item to be sold at half-price the last two days of the sale, and if I would like to donate items if they are not sold when the sale closes.

I make all of these decisions, prepare my items by marking, hanging and packaging them properly and on the scheduled drop-off day, I take my items to the sale to be inspected and dropped off.

This sounds like a lot of work doesn't it? But I have so much fun doing it!

One thing that I enjoy about it the most, is that it is a trip down memory lane! Each outfit has a memory attached to it and this process is a great way to remind myself of special times that I have had with my kiddos. And by consigning at Rhea Lana's, we get to let go of the item (not the memory) and allow someone else to make their own memories, with their own children, without having to spend a fortune on a dress, pair of shoes, or the cutest set of pajamas you have ever seen!
Plus, I am making room for more memory making clothes, shoes, toys, books, and games for my own kids!

Each step in the process is thoroughly explained and any tips and tricks are shared on Rhea Lana's website, including tutorial videos!

Almost every sale that I have participated in, I have either made money or broken even, meaning I spent the same amount of money on new items as I did on the 70% profit of the items that that I sold.

I can't explain how excited I am when Rhea Lana's comes around! My friend Cara and I normally sign up to work on the same shifts so that we can work and shop together. The early shopping pass that we earn allows us to shop at 8 am before the sale opens to the public, and we get there about 6:30 in the morning! The last 2 or 3 sales, we have been among the first 3 people in line and the other ladies that are in line with us are the same ones as the sales before, so we have gained friendships as well!

Just a little more information and then I will stop jabbering! :-)
In an average sale, now that I have two children,
I probably save over $261 per child!!!!!
I will show you how I got that number: based on average prices at (a brand that I have preferred for my kids from birth-5 years) and my experiences at Rhea Lana's.

I try to have a list of things that we NEED before I shop.
  • Example: 6 pair of shorts, 2 short sets, 10 shirts, 4 pajamas, 3 shoes
  • The average price I would pay at Rhea Lana's will vary, but be close to the following:
    • 6-shorts $5 per pair = $30
    • 2-short sets $5 per set = $10
    • 10-shirts $3 per shirt = $30
    • 4-pajamas $4 per set = $16
    • 3-shoes $5 per pair = $15
    • For a Grand Total of $101
  • Keep in mind this price will vary because each consignor (and there are about 1,000) choose the prices for their items. A shirt with consignor 'A' may be $3 while the same shirt with consignor 'B' may be $5. And the older the child, I have learned the price may go up a bit. 
  • The average prices below are from the Carters website, linked above: (and I even cut them a break considering they offer online coupons and they have seasonal sales as well.)
    • 6-shorts $15 per pair = $90
    • 2-short sets $30 per set = $60
    • 10-shirts $10 per shirt = $100
    • 4-pajamas $13 per set = $52
    • 3-shoes $20 per pair = $60
    • For a Grand Total of $362
Like I said, that is for ONE child and the savings is IMMENSE! 

And if you are anything like me, you don't just stop at what is on your "list"...I go kind of crazy, because it is such a bargain!!! And don't forget that the last 2 days of a season's sale, anything that does not have a Red Dot on the tag is HALF-PRICE! This is a great time to go back to the sale, see what is left and grab a few more, even more affordable items! 

I highly encourage you to check out Rhea Lana's website and check on a sale that is near you or any of your family. This is a great opportunity to recycle, so to speak. Clothes are expensive!!! Even for the tiny humans that we have been gifted to take care of on planet Earth! In the economy that we live in, it is hard to afford to buy brand new seasonal clothes for each child in our family, and Rhea Lana's helps to ease that burden, whether you choose to volunteer, consign and shop, or you just come to take advantage of the great shopping prices! There is something for every family!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SSMTC! Houston Bound!

Two days before I will be in Houston TX for the Siesta Scripture Memory Team Celebration (aka SSMTC)!


I will be accompanied by one of my best friends, Cara, and we will be road-tripping! We did this in December 2010 to a Living Proof Live Conference in Birmingham, and had a blast! 
I'm sure this time will be just as much fun and I cannot wait to see what God has in store for us on this trip!
We plan to leave very early Friday morning and (hopefully) be in Houston to check in to our hotel by 3pm. The doors open at 6 pm, so we will enjoy about an hour at the hotel, getting ready, fixing our hair, etc. And then head to eat, and be back to the church around 5:15/5:30 to get in line!

On Saturday the conference is from 8-12 and afterwards, we are grabbing lunch and then going to check out the Texas Art Asylum before hitting the road again to head home! 
Whether it is lunch Saturday or dinner Friday, we plan to try Pappasito's! We both love Mexican food and when we went to Birmingham we made it a point to find a local restaurant and enjoy! It is kind of becoming a tradition for us on road-trips! 

The drive up there will be filled with us quizzing each other on our memory verses! It will be a great 8 hours worth of practice! 

Anyways, I know this post does not pertain to anything at all important to anyone else, but I just wanted to share my enthusiasm and just say how big of an impact memorizing scripture has had in my life.

I have begun to memorize scripture with my 5 year old daughter and it is such a blessing for me, and I know she so enjoys it too! And it will help equip her in the future for the many valleys that we as adults are very aware of; So please take time out of your life to sit in His Word and drink it up...keep it in your heart so that at any given moment, you will be prepared to spiritually battle with the enemy.

And most of all, He wrote it...He breathed it. As a blogger, when I know or see that people are reading what I post, it gives me a feeling like "wow, someone does care."...I can only imagine how awesome God feels when His children sit and encounter Him in His Word....when they glorify Him by obeying and hiding His Truths and Promises in our hearts, so that we can share Him with the world! Let's honor Him in this way! It is something that I believe everyone is equipped to do. Some of us can't give a lot of money, some can't go out and build homes for the weak and weary, some can't sing (beautifully) or speak great sermons: But we can all hide His Word, the Holy Bible, in our hearts and glorify Him just the same!

I love you, the one reading this, with the love that Christ has given to us all, and I pray that you are blessed and filled to the measure! Jesus loves you!

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. 
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 
may have power, together with all the saints, 
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV

(If you don't mind praying for our travels this weekend and for the Holy Spirit to be glorified at this conference. Thanks)