The Habit of Giving Thanks

 Posted by on November 19, 2014  4 Responses »
Nov 192014
 

Anyone who has ever opened the pages of a Bible knows that God wants us to be thankful in all circumstances. The Bible is full of references that instruct us to be thankful. One of the more popular verses that comes to mind is from Philippians.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6

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So, we know we are supposed to be thankful, but how do we show gratitude? I want to share with you the example that Jesus gives us about how to show our gratitude.  Jesus made a habit of expressing His gratitude and we should follow His example in our lives. Continue reading »

The End of an Era….

 Posted by on November 11, 2014  3 Responses »
Nov 112014
 

The other day I noticed ‘Stripey’ was not in bed with Selena as I came in to say goodnight.  In fact she hadn’t been for several nights, but this was the first time it really registered with me.  Stripey has been her constant companion since she was three and she would not sleep with out her, until now.  I asked her why and she said the Stripey was not real but just a stuffed animal.

The End of an EraWOW

That’s a big change.  Those two have been inseparable for so long.  Stripey has bathed with her and lost all her pink stripes swimming in an overchlorinated pool.  She has been recovered by me when she fell apart.  I actually remade her and stuffed her into her new skin, transferring the eyes to the outside of the slip cover.  I personally have a lot of time and effort wrapped up in that little pink and white frog!  For many years Selena carried tucked under her left arm and had trouble at playgrounds climbing because she couldn’t lift her arm to climb.  Recently she had been leaving her home but never had she slept without her.

At first I felt sorry for Stripey.  Wait, no, I felt a sense of loss for myself.  My little girl is leaving girlhood behind and growing up.  Those Stripey years are passing away, never to return.  But, I must let go of them too.  Let go and embrace the future.  Don’t cling to the past and regret it’s going.

StripeyGod is working in her life and mine.  Creating a new thing.  Maturing us.  Some days I don’t feel much more mature than her.  So Lord fill me with joy and the energy to leap into this new phase of life you have for us.  Be near me and help me to guide Selena in your ways.  Because this is not the end, but the beginning of a new era.

~ written by Amy Waters

Every Word

 Posted by on August 19, 2014  No Responses »
Aug 192014
 

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written; ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Every Word at Habits for a Happy HomeThis year God is calling me to draw close to him through his word. Not just the ones I like, the comforting, sheltering words, but Every Word. Many times I find myself disagreeing with something in the Bible, I don’t fully understand.

1 Corinthians 13:12

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

This is the year for me to read and begin to understand the Word. To read a portion of the Bible every day and to work hard at finding meaning and understanding so that I can be fully in agreement with the Lord. Should I not try to come to a fuller understanding now, instead of waiting for the time when I will fully know and be known? For me it is time to begin to know God’s word.

Will you join me?

~ written by Amy Waters

The Habit of Rest

 Posted by on May 27, 2014  1 Response »
May 272014
 

Can you feel it? The summer stretching out. The call to get out and enjoy these days with abundant sunshine.

We have. You may have noticed that our authors here at Habits for a Happy Home are taking a break. We hit the busy, full calendar time of spring and things got quiet here on our group blog.

The Habit of Rest www.habitsforahappyhome.com

We want to acknowledge that the habit of rest is good. We suggest you rest and take a break too. And if you find your way here, we’ve gathered a few restful posts to encourage just such a habit.

Rest, Mama – It’s been a long year. But you have rested a little while, and there are tasks calling. You might, just possibly, gain a bit of leverage by starting to work now, filling your sacks of heavy sand and beginning the line of a wall along the river of next year’s demands. The river will rise. We all know it. Not next week, but maybe in a month, certainly in December with the storms of busyness over the holidays, and likely in the spring with all of its expectations. But now, at this moment, your world is calm. The house rests, because you, Mama, are resting. Didn’t you know that?

Am I Really Resting? – Then I heard a little whisper from the Lord saying to me, “you don’t need more time for yourself, you need more time for Me.” So I decided to try things a bit differently. I closed the laptop and reached for my Bible. For 15 minutes I just sat and read and asked God to give me the energy I need to finish the day strong. I looked up the word “weary” and reflected on what I found in those pages.

A Season of Rest www.habitsforahappyhome.com

A Season of Rest – It is a time to sit back and look over the year. How have the seeds you have planted this year done? Some have done well, so plant more next year. Some may need a little tending and encouragement. Some may have grown a little too large. Prune them. Some may have done poorly or even died. Maybe it’s just not the right time or place for those. Pull them up and plant something more appropriate.

Building Happy Homes with Pinterest – put your feet up and enjoy the pins on our favorite boards.

His Ways Are Not Our Ways – I want to remind us to remember the habit that really matters…love.  Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.   Then let His love pour out through you into your husband and children.   Give a hug, read a story, get up early and make a special breakfast.   Listen, really listen, to your teenager.  Let that love spill over to other believers, especially those hurting or in need.

Water and the Word – Let me encourage you to get your Bible and take a BIG GULP before this day ends. It will quench your thirsty soul!

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Just Take a Nap – “Honey, take a nap.” Some of the best advice my grandmother ever gave me. Yes, young children need a nap. But did you know that mothers need one too?

Early to Rise – So much better than before. I actually look forward to them waking up in the morning. And the occasional morning that they sleep in and we don’t get to have our Bible time, I miss it. And if I decide to sleep in and I’m not up when the freight train comes barreling down the hall, we have our Bible time in my bed.

A Worry Free Life - Our lack of worry—our obvious confidence in God—is an example that other people see. The peacefulness on our faces even in the midst of trials. The absence of worry lines across our foreheads.

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Every Day – I have been struck today with the reminder of how gracious my God is to me. He gives me so many good gifts. . .my little family..

The Habit of Running Well – As mothers there are seasons in our lives, we can feel alone, isolated and unappreciated. It is in those times that the enemy will try to discourage us and get us to shift our focus onto ourselves instead of the goal set before us.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31

Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

But we will be back. Our authors are talking about a series… Happy Summer dear Habits readers!

A new little space

 Posted by on March 27, 2014  No Responses »
Mar 272014
 

This month I thought I’d share a simple project recently completed at our house.

Our house is a good size, and with only three children, there was enough room when we moved in for everyone to have their own room.  (Except me and hubby, we like to share, but when one of the kids moves out, I’m going to make her room into a pink, “Shabby Chic” reading and napping room just for me and any future granddaughters.  Shh!  Don’t tell!)

A New Little Space www.habitsforahappyhome.com

Anyway, the girls were 12, 10, and 6 when we moved in, and we let them choose their rooms. Each chose a different one based on her personality.  Youngest chose the largest room, which was good, because she had lots of toys.  Our middle girl chose the room with slanted ceilings that was the most old-fashioned looking, one that one of the heroines from her many books would live in.  Our eldest chose the sunny room at the top of the opposite side of the stairs…  the whole south side of the upstairs is her room.  It looks like a little attic and was technically called a “bonus room.” If you know real estate, you know that means it has no closet. For years, we dealt with this issue by having her share a closet with hubby and I (the other girls’ closets were too small to share) for her “hang ups” and shoving the rest of her clothing into her dresser, storing off-season clothes under the bed.

She also had two beds in her room, which was convenient for having friends or little sisters spend the night, but took up a lot more space in the tiny room, leaving her no room for bookshelves, which she desperately needed.  I don’t have many pictures of her room, and I forgot to take a before picture. I just wish you could see the books stacked on the floor!  We even painted it aqua and added those neat, peel and stick dots… but no closet rendered it just not “done.”

Our sweet eldest went off to college over two years ago.  Even though she spends more time away from home that at home now, we wanted her to feel like we cared about her personal space, and that she is special to us.  We finally found a way to fix it up that would work without calling in a contractor or spending a large amount of money.  (Pinterest helped.)

Here’s what we did:

new little space www.habitsforahappyhome.com

As you can see, we used one of the popular “expedit” bookshelves from IKEA.  (Hate to say it, but they were being discontinued. There are other, similar bookshelves in that line.)  Hubby anchored it to the wall and purchased a closet rod from Home Depot and a little hardware to go with that.  The whole project cost less than $75. (If you wanted to be even more frugal, you could find a bookshelf at a yard sale or thrift store.) Now her clothes AND books have a home, and I can’t wait for her to see it.  (The shoe rack on the bottom is also from IKEA.  I love the simplicity of their designs.)

I am keeping all the hangers the same color to add to the simplicity and for color continuity (can you tell I love to read Better Homes and Gardens?!).  Hubby thought of putting a curtain across the front, but I like the look of openness, and if you peruse any of IKEA’s catalogs, you can see many designers like it, also.  But the main point is that WE like it, and I think our daughter will, too.  Better late than never!

I’m so glad she chooses to come home for Spring Break, and that this little treat awaits our girl.  We love her so!