My Planning Power Couple

If you know me at all you know that I am paper/stationary/planner/office supply OBSESSED. There is just something about it that makes me happy and I love shopping for it. This year will be my second year with an Emily Ley Simplified Planner and Lara Casey’s PowerSheets. Being as tomorrow is August 1st (the start of my academic simplified planner) I’ve decided after hearing Lara and Emily talk about using these products together, to actually start doing this myself. Last night I sat down and did my power sheets prep work for August (yes something didn’t get done in July and I added them to August). This morning I sat down with both products to give my self a greater chance for success towards my August goals.

The tending list can be taken out of the PowerSheets but I like to keep mine in tact. I also love my cultivate what matters sticker book to help dress up not only my PowerSheets but my planner. As you can see I marked in my monthly layout when to do my prep work for next month. Next I used another sticker to cover up the word “Notes” in my planner to say “tend to this” to keep items from my tending list front and center. Then I used my Emily Ley Dot Stickers to add some organization and color!

You can get 20% off Simplified Planners through tomorrow with the code 20OFFSP! 

If you have any questions about either products or how I use them feel free to ask

*post does contain affiliate links, however this post is not sponsored. I just LOVE these products!*

 

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DIY Tulle Bedskirt

I have been eyeing this Emily & Meritt bedskirt at Pottery Barn Kids for Presley’s room for quite some time but with a $169 price tag it’s been a no go. What makes this version so affordable is that I was able to use my 40% off coupon on my single cut of fabric. This version worked out to be about $44!

 

Tonight I went to hobby lobby and found this awesome tulle with elastic (more than likely meant to make skirts), but it immediately reminded of the bedskirt at Pottery Barn Kids.

My first thought was to sew it to the plain white bedskirt I had on Presley’s bed already but when I called to ask my mom about it she suggested just pinning it! I purchased 5 yards (I used this chart to help guesstimate how much I needed for a full size bed) and a package of safety pins.

I started with the plain white bed skirt that was already on her bed (I believe it was under $10 from target). Next I started safety pinning the elastic part of the tulle through bed skirt about every 6″.  If you wanted a cleaner look you could do a couple of more permanent options: fabric glue, double sided tape, or sewing. What I like about this is that it can be traded out plus I can always reuse this for another project. It took maybe 15 minutes to pin the whole thing.

 

I’m super happy with how it tuned it out and I think when Presley sees it she’ll love it!

 

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Parenting Out of Fear

 I’ve made a really eye opening revelation recently. I parent out of fear. Not making my children afraid of me (although I’m sure from time to time they are) but parenting them because I’m afraid they will turn out like me. What happens is I catch them doing something that reminds me of something that I do and I come down hard on them, not always because what they are doing is necessarily wrong but because I’m afraid of them picking up my bad qualities. I’m learning that I have to be okay with all my attributes. God entrusted these two children to me and I have to trust that he will equip me in raising up gracious and loving children. My kids come from me and my husband and are bound to have some of our personality traits good or bad. Also bad is a relative term, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

So often I parent out of what I DON’T want them to be that I forget to parent them into what I DO want them to be. I forget to celebrate their uniqueness instead of trying to stifle it because it scares me. When it comes to parenting I often feel that sometimes nuggets of wisdom come and then feel like it’s too late to apply them. In reality my parenting style is continually evolving because my children are continually changing at what works in one situation might not work in the next. All in all i’m doing the best that I can with the knowledge I have and lean on God.

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Ringleader

As moms we generally feel like the ringleader of the circus called our family. Not only are we responsible for keeping the circus going we need to perform all the acts. We need to know how to walk the tightrope of  the sensitive feelings of our kids or the tightrope of asking the husband to do another DIY project that would make Chip and JoJo proud. Being the lion tamer of the littles come nap time or bedtime. Maybe the bearded lady if you haven’t had a shower, your eyebrows done, or time for some makeup? The juggling act when it comes to taking the kids to school, making breakfast, packing lunches, meal prepping, paying the bills, doctors appointments, sports practices, making time for Jesus, the husband, the kids, the family, and friends. Man I’m exhausted just listing all that. Here’s something I want you to hear me say (or type) and this is as much for me as it is for you, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE. Now lets start with what I’m not saying. I’m not saying don’t be the wife, mother, daughter, and friend God has called you to be. All these things are important roles but you don’t have to run yourself in the ground managing the circus and being all the acts. Your kid does not have to be in 12 sports at once. You do not have to have pinterest party favors for every class party. You do not have to have it all together. Now if sports is your thing awesome! If you love being crafty GREAT! But do those things because you genuinely have passion and love for those things not because you feel like you HAVE to do those things. Learn to juggle what’s important! Not everything is a priority. Take time to figure out what is important for you and your family and then make it work. If your child excels at sports but you want to make family dinners a priority in your household get creative, have a picnic in the back of the van. If family weekends are a priority you might just have to say no to something else to make that happen. You know the phrase not my circus, not my monkeys…..well this is your circus and these are your monkeys, and you have a say in how it runs. Sit down with your husband and discuss what you’ve juggling and decide to juggle what’s important not everything under the sun!

in grace and love,

amber

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Making Space

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I started an intensive bible study last Friday that has already been eye opening. One of the things I read was about in order to to be disciple of Christ you need to be disciplined. It defined discipline in one’s spiritual walk as making space for God to work (at least that’s the gist). When I read that a huge lightbulb went off. I’m often complaining and wondering where is God and why isn’t He doing anything. The problem isn’t God, the problem is me. I do not provide God space to work and do what He does. I have become addicted to the busyness of this world. When my calendar is full and I’m constantly running around like a chicken with my head cut off I’m pushing God out of the way. My goal for the rest of this year and for 2017 is to make space for God. Making space for Him FIRST will allow all the other things in my life to fall into place.

In order to try and be as successful as I can be I’m going to iron out a few action steps. First off, I’m going to start by writing in time with God in my planner. I’m a HUGE planner person. I write everything else in there so why wouldn’t I carve out time for the one who created time. After that I need to have a plan with how I’m going to spend that time. I don’t need to schedule it in detail but at least have a general idea of how that time is going to be spent in His presence. Whether that be journaling, praying, scripture dissection, etc. Finally, I need to make sure that I have everything I need to make the time successful: bible, notebook, pens and whatever else I find useful in my quiet time.

I hope this post gave you some food for thought and some practical tips to help you make space for God so he can work in BIG ways in your life.

in grace and love,

amber

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Obedience

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Over last year God has been working on my obedience to Him. Not just in some aspects of my life but all of them. What I’ve learned so far is that the spirit of obedience is most necessary when it’s the most difficult. When God calls you to do something that you love and want to do, it’s simple. But when he’s called you to be obedient in adverse circumstances that’s when your spirit it stretched the most. It makes me think of my kids and if I ask them something easy to be obedient to like go pick out a cookie they’re going to willingly do it but when I say hey go clean your room there is resistance because it’s not with they want to do. The same scenario can be applied to us as believers, there’s resistant in being obedient to God’s calling when it’s something that we don’t want to do. My life looks very different then it did before Jesus got ahold of me. Being apart of HIS kingdom means following HIS will. I might not always want to do to what he is leading me to but I know that the Holy Spirit would not lead me against His will or against His word. His is continually stretching me and pushing me to become who he has called me to be, my job in all that is to get out of his way and be obedient.

 

in grace and love,

amber

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Boldness

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Today I was doing my write the word journal  and a verse that continues to speak to me was included in the today’s verses of Hebrews 10:35-39. After I wrote down the verses for today and moved on to the next page I became flooded with thoughts. I really feel that is the main purpose of the journal, to get you thinking about scripture and how it applies to your life. Right off the bat I wrote BE BOLD!! God wants us to be bold in his name. Who benefits when I retreat into myself and shy away from my faith and purpose? the devil (he does not need any help from me). As Christians we need to be confident in the Lord, His truths, and His promises. He is Holy, He is sovereign, He is Lord. I need to remember I am a daughter of the most high God.

I wilt at the sign of darkness instead of standing tall to catch the light. I need to BE BOLD, STAND TALL. The darkness is not our chance to wilt and die but to stand up in faith and love. God is light. God is love. When the darkness of the world creeps in I must be bold in my faith and my love of Christ. I need to stand tall to let the sun reach my face so that I grow in the love of Jesus.

in grace and love,

amber

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Overwhelmed

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I am typing this bundled up on my couch feeling sicker than I have in awhile, a double ear infection and a gnarly cold will do that to you. The word that has been constantly at the forefront of my mind in the last 8 weeks is OVERWHELMED. I am a person who doesn’t mind to busy and generally prefers to be doing something but lately even I have felt the weight of this kind of schedule and lifestyle. We have been living at a break neck pace for months and I can’t keep up. Typically after I dwell on the thought of being overwhelmed I hear God say, “BE STILL”. I have forgotten what should be at the forefront of my mind HIM. In all the ups and downs, scheduling conflicts, and strain to family time I forgot that, “the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still” Exodus 14:14

This verse draws my attention to that the fact that the Lord is with me and he will stand up for me. The biggest struggle for me is being still. I need to be still in all aspects of my life. I keep trying to take on all the hustle and bustle by myself and shelving my time with God because I tell myself that X,Y, & Z are more important, and if I don’t get this done so and so will be disappointed, and if I don’t sell this we can’t pay this off. The list goes on and on. The Lord is present in all these things regardless if I acknowledge it the difference is if and when I acknowledge Him in all aspects of my life then I am inviting Him into a relationship. A relationship where He is for me not against me and I no longer have to shoulder my burdens alone.

 

in grace and love,

amber

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Rise Up

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I just returned from a long weekend in Charlotte, North Carolina where we attended 2 days of Code Orange revival. God used this revival to encourage my spirit and I have tons to unpack from this trip. The first thing that I heard that really stuck with me was something Dharius Daniels said (I took two pages of notes during his sermon), “Could it be that God will allow us to live on whatever level we settle for.” This struck me so deep that I even wrote MIND BLOWN in my notes next to this quote. I struggle a lot with how I see myself. Often beating myself up with how I could’ve done something better or said something differently and this has really impacted how I see myself and how I view what happens to me. Love others is something I often tell my kids and is preached about on Sunday mornings but loving myself needs to happen first. I need to start seeing myself as God sees me. I am a child of God. I have been settling for who I think am versus rising up to the challenge of who God has called me to be. He didn’t call me be self loathing and critical. I need to RISE UP to God’s call not settle for the low opinion I have of myself.  The song Rise Up has been on repeat for me and these lyrics help me remember that I am to serve God regardless of bad days & self loathing:

I’ll rise up
In spite of the ache
I’ll rise up
And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you

I have been living in my doubt and not in God’s delight. Psalm 149:4 says, “For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” He delights in us and I should focus on His image of me not that image I’ve let the world create of me. I am a daughter of the most High God and today I am rising up to be who has he called me to be for the glory of his kingdom. 

 

in grace and love,

amber

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Mind Your Business

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This morning I was working in my write the word journal this morning and 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12. Verse 11 really was trying to tell me a lot this morning. I struggle when I read the words “quiet life” because I immediately equate a quiet life with a boring life. I know that is not what it means but that is always my first reaction to that phrase. Quiet I believe in this sense means without drama. Being a woman I feel that drama is 10x more prevalent than it is with men. Women are often portrayed as busy bodies which to extent is true but I think as Christian women we need to redefine what it looks like to befriend one another. There is a fine line between gossip and discussion and I flirt with that line often. Gossip is defined as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true” and discussion is defined as “the action or process of talking about something, typically in order to reach a decision or to exchange ideas.” While each definition is distinct they often overlap in my mind. What needs to start happening is talking things out with one another through a Christlike lens. I know I like to get my friends opinions on what is going on in my life and 99% of the time that involves other people. How I discuss these people and the lens in which I filter my conversation and actions is the key difference I believe in gossip versus discussion. I am not great at this by any means, minding my own business is something I fail terribly at daily. There is a fine line between gossip and discussion and I flirt with that line often. What I am taking away from my reading this morning is to have grace filled words and actions so that I may have a quiet life in the eyes of the Lord.

in grace and love,

amber

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