Christian growth · home · organization

Organizing Your Bible Study Tools

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The best way I could ever start any day is by spending the first part of it in the study of God’s Word and prayer.  I know that without the instruction in His Word, I would be desperate.  I would have no wisdom, order, no direction, no hope for today.  Therefore, it is my practice to spend the first part of my day in a place pulled apart from everything so that I can focus on what God wants to say to me.

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.  Psalm 63:1

Most times, I am seated in a comfy chair in my bedroom.  I chose this spot because it has few distractions. I like to have everything I need in one place so that I don’t spend 15 minutes trying to find my Bible, a pen, my journal, and so on. I noticed recently that the tools I use to study with had gotten disheveled, causing my non-distracted space to become distracted!  So I set out to fix that problem, and I’m so much happier when I sit down each morning.  I can get to my books easily, I have pen ready and waiting, and it’s not a cluttered mess!

I wondered if anyone else might be struggling with the same problem of how to organize your study tools – your Bible, a  journal for notes, a prayer journal, other Bible study books, markers, highlighters, etc.  It can literally take over a corner of a room, can’t it?!  I’m going to show you pictures of how I organized my things.  I hope it will give you some ideas, so you can focus on God and His Word, rather than a mess that’s surrounding you!

I didn’t want to add a large bookshelf or even another piece of furniture to my room, so here’s what I did with my books – first, I used a table with a tray on top.

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You’ll notice that not everything is “out.”  My tray holds the items I use every day.  The pen holder is on the tray, but kind of tucked back out of the view, but within reach.

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My extra books and larger Prayer journal notebook are in two book bags on the floor, beside my chair.  They, too, are tucked out of view, as you can tell by the first picture on the post.

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No longer am I staring at a huge pile of books.  It’s all easy to reach, and is organized according to priority.

Maybe you have a great system that works for you, but if you need a little help, I hope this inspired you a little!

Stay refreshed in God’s Word!

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Life, · organization

Strategies for Simplifying Life

Wow, I’ve got a lot going on in my world, as I’m sure you do, too. As I’ve thought through a few ways to simplify my life this day/week/year, I thought I’d share my strategy with you.  Do you need encouragement in that area like I do?

Strategy #1 –   Pray – Whenever I get a little overwhelmed, I try to remember to run to my prayer closet  and give my plans, my cares and my day to the Lord.  He then directs my steps and I accomplish what He knows is necessary and I let go of the rest! So if this first week of a new year finds you a little out of breath, breathe upward in prayer!

Strategy #2 – Un-clutter – Sometimes there’s just too much material stuff that we are dealing with and we need to un-clutter and pare down.  I did that recently with my Christmas decor. I went through every box, and removed the things I haven’t used in a couple years or that I don’t LOVE!  I ended up with FOUR empty bins!  It felt so good putting away only the things I will really use!

I also put the things into bins by the rooms in which I use them.  That way next year I can pick up the bin for the kitchen and living room and head there with the decor, without having to go from room to room!

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You may need to ask yourself what area feels cluttered and work on that space first.  Get rid of things by donating and do it quickly!  The longer it hangs around, the more likely you are to let it become another cluttered pile!  Is it a closet?  A drawer?  A desktop or counter?  Do one space at a time and find the freedom that comes from un-cluttering that space!

Strategy #3 – Make lists – I know there are people out there who don’t make lists, but if I don’t have lists of

  • Today’s agenda – and things that I need to work on
  • Shopping lists
  • Menu

I’d forget so much!  I keep a pad by my bed, at the kitchen counter and at my desk.  If things come to my mind, I jot it down before it’s gone from my memory!

Look at this deal I got on my new planner for 2017…

It has pocket dividers as well as tabs.  Love that!  Nothing like having a brand new planner to fill in!  This will keep me organized!

What do you do to simplify your life and help you feel able to breathe?

 

Go simplify your life!  =)

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home · organization

Bathroom Vanity Organization

It always amazes me how just a little organizing can simplify my routines and even put a smile on my face!

Recently while staying away from home, there was a little porcelain dish on the bathroom counter.  Each night we were there, I put my contact lens case in that dish.  It looked so pretty, and it kept the counter from being cluttered up.  I determined when I got home, I would find a little dish where my husband and I could both put our lenses.  Here’s what I came up with:

bathroom vanity.jpgIt’s actually a tray for keys, but it works well because there’s enough room for two cases.  Prior to this, my husband had his lenses case by his sink, and I had mine on the other side and it looked cluttered! This is so much better!

Then there was an issue with my lipsticks.  I have a lot of shades, and had to DIG through the drawer to find the one I wanted.  I saw a You Tube video where the gal bought a special tray for lipsticks, and while that makes sense, I didn’t want to have to find a place to put another container!  Instead I lined them up in the tray I was already using instead of laying them down. I also put them in upside down so the shade is revealed.  It works perfectly!

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Do you need to add a little organization to your bathroom vanity?  Work with what you have first, then add containers if necessary.  If your results are like mine, those little efforts will really simplify your morning routine!

Refresh your space!

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entertaining · Home decor · organization · summertime

A Look Through My Lens

It’s unreal how much activity goes on in one week, isn’t it?  I look through my photos on my camera and am shocked at how much we did in the last seven days!  Let me give you a look through my lens:

On Friday night we hosted our church teen group at our home.  They are led by Alli’s husband, Andrew who does a great job!  The teens love both Alli and Andrew, and it was fun to see them interact that evening.  They played volleyball, and a new version of football.  Oh, and they ate. A LOT! Which means they loved it, and that makes me happy!Their meal was a simple one of grilled hot dogs and the fixings, but I can’t wait to tell you about the dessert we served.  Here’s a little peek, but I’ll share the details with you on Monday.

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On Saturday I hosted a baby shower for a sweet young mom, expecting her first baby.  You can tell by the pictures that she’s expecting a girl!

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A friend at church did the food, and it was amazing.

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Another gal does the cupcakes for our church showers.  These are White Chocolate Raspberry.  Oh my goodness!!  The little size makes it completely safe to try without feeling too guilty!  Also check out the waffle bowls filled with fresh fruit; those were so good!

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Saturday night my husband and I went with Alli and Andrew to Carter’s Fold to hear Fiddlin’ Carson Peters, a talented 12 year-old who plays fiddle with his father and two other instrumentalists.  It was such a fun night!  The music was great, the setting was country and perfect!

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Sunday morning we had the blessing of seeing two little girls who recently accepted Christ as their Savior get baptized, or as one of them called it, “Bap-ti-tized!”  It always brings tears to my eyes to see these young ones trust Christ, then declare their devotion to follow Him all their lives!

It also always makes me so thankful to be married to the pastor who gets the privilege of baptizing, and pouring into their lives the Truth of God’s Word.  He always gives a personal challenge to each one, and it’s so sweet.

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Sunday evening we did not have services at church.  My husband and I took special care to spend time together and also to rest.  We sat on our front porch rockers and played Farkle while several of our neighbors put on quite a firework display.

We had front row seats and never had to leave home!

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Even Liza got to enjoy some time outside.  That’s a great treat for this indoor kitty!

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Monday’s Fourth of July celebrations took us to Cherokee Lake to friends’ home.  We had a wonderful time.  It included a feast of picnic foods, a boat ride, and fellowship with new friends.

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This barn was on the dead end road that took us to the lake house.  What is it about old barns that makes them so beautiful?

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My pantry got some further organization when I finally found a couple of Lazy Susans at TJ Maxx.  These will make finding my canned goods so much easier!

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Lastly, I harvested some of my herbs a few weeks ago and had them drying in small bundles in our hot, dry garage.  This week I pulled the leaves off and got them stored in small jars.  They’re so fragrant and I can’t wait to use all three – Thyme, Dill and Oregano.

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God is good to give sweet blessings that we get to enjoy each day.  He also gives grace for the difficult things that come, but God is always good!

How have you seen God’s goodness to you this week?  Do you have a favorite photo from this post?

Stay refreshed,

Denise

 

Cooking · organization · Uncategorized

Simplifying Cooking

Coffee station

Here we are at the beginning of Thanksgiving week! Woo Hoo!  I love it!  If you’re hosting company this year, before you get into a panic, let me encourage you to take a look over your kitchen today and make sure that you’re doing this one simple thing that will ease the work of putting any meal together.  Here it is…

Create “stations” in your kitchen.

Let me explain.  Take into account  what you do regularly in your kitchen.  Do you bake?  Are there coffee or hot tea drinkers at your house?  Does your family toast waffles or bagels for breakfast each day?  Each of those activities needs a station for that task.  Let me show you a couple examples.

Here’s a peek at my coffee station:

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In the drawer under the coffee maker are the filters, the coffee bags and jars.  On the counter beside it is the grinder, the carafe’ and the coffee scoop.  In the cabinet above, the mugs are ready for action!

My baking station is in one area where the cookbooks are, as well as the utensils needed for baking.

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In this are are all my measuring cups, biscuit cutters, pastry blender, rolling pin, mixers (hand mixer and Kitchen Aid), ruler for measuring dough length, measuring spoons, whisks, and salt.  In the cabinet above are all my spices, herbs and baking soda and powder. My canisters are on the counter on the other side of my stove – about two steps away.

For your toaster station you’d have the toaster in the cabinet where an outlet is accessible.  Add a small cutting board to slice the bagels or butter the toast. Knives for cutting or buttering should be within reach as well.

Even when you’re doing a special task like making mashed potatoes, do it in an area where you can gather everything together so you won’t have to be going back and forth.

Make sure your trash can is in an area close to your work space, or even keep a garbage bowl on your counter so you don’t have to walk over to the trash can every time you have to dispose of an empty can or egg shells.

Eliminate you steps and create work stations and I bet you’ll enjoy working in your kitchen a whole lot more!

What kind of stations have you created, or what ones will you set up?

With love from my country kitchen,

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organization

Saving Magazine Articles With No Paper!

My sweet husband subscribed me to four magazines. I love flipping through their pages and being inspired by the decor, recipes and style. However, it doesn’t take many months before that wonderful media source becomes a pile of glossy pictures. I know that between their covers they have great content, but in their stacked condition all they’re doing is collecting dust!

A few months ago while looking through my Southern Living, I found so many great recipes to save, but didn’t want to cut the magazine and have to file all that paper. So, I came up with a plan to keep the recipes without having to save the magazine or clip the article from its binding. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Once I found an article or recipe I wanted to save, I picked up my Smart phone and Googled the magazine and the title. I found this…wpid-wp-1438290784880.png
  2. Then I clicked on the one that had the exact title I was reading and went to their site.
  3. Once there, I found the Pinterest Button and “pinned” it to the board where it fit and I could find it easily. For this Steak recipe I put it under, “Make for Dinner.”
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  4. Done. I did this for any article – decorating, style or food that I wanted to keep. When I was finished, I could toss the magazine or share it with a friend.

I go through that process while I’m looking at the magazine. It saves time, paper and table space! No more piles! No more clipped articles waiting to be filed away! It’s my new way to look at and save my magazines!

Do you have piles of magazines, too? I hope you’ll set up a Pinterest account if you don’t have one already and simplify and refresh your life with this new “clipping” tool!

Stay refreshed,

organization

The Easiest Way to Tidy a Drawer

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I have a confession. I have the hardest time keeping drawers neat and tidy! I mentioned it here in the “Meet Denise” section of my home page. It’s true and very sad. But I have recently found a simple solution for the drawers that have things made of fabric in them! I have to share this simple solution with you!

I have one drawer in my kitchen that is designated for kitchen linens – towels and dish cloths. However, the drawer I reserved for those linens isn’t very deep and when I folded them as I was accustomed to doing, I had trouble making room for them all without the drawer getting jammed! Do you ever deal with that? The towels wad up and then the drawer won’t open and you have to fish your hand up in there to retrieve the fabric that got hung. Grrr. I know I could have saved one of the deep drawers for that, but there are certain kitchen utensils that will only fit in those deep spaces.

Then one day when I was trying to come up with a solution, I remembered a picture I had seen for packing lots of clothes in a suitcase. They recommended rolling up your clothes. That doesn’t appeal to me when I’m traveling, because of wrinkles, but that would work just fine with towels! Sooooo, I started rolling up each one and when I was finished I had easily fit in fourteen towels, seven dish cloths and one extra drying mat!

wpid-wp-1437685523249Problem solved! The drawer now stays nice and tidy!!! I love it. I may even just walk in the kitchen and open the drawer and stare at its beauty!

This will also work in a drawer of underclothes, tee shirts or athletic clothing. You’ll have room for everything AND it will stay neat!

Perhaps I can now change that one fact about myself in my bio! I may have just made a life change! =)

Anyone else have a difficult time keeping drawers tidy? If so, try this and let me know how it works for you!

Stay refreshed,