the life-changing magic of tidying up book review

I was given a free copy of the life-changing magic of tidying up the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by marie kondo by Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

tlcmtu pic

I have enjoyed reading this book.  I love her idea of only keeping the things that bring you joy.  And I love her recommendations on how to fold and hang your clothing for more space and better visualization of what you have in your drawers / closet.  Brandi has been reorganizing in her room and used these folding methods and it looks great in her drawers.  I will be working on mine soon – I’ve been too busy reading the book ;)  LOL

Marie suggests starting with clothes and moving onto books and then other categories.  She never mentions toys.  She actually says to take care of your own stuff and then everyone else will follow suit – we will see.  But we do have to go through games, toys, and stuffed animals soon so we will see how the “does this bring you joy” question works with Little Miss Hugs-A-Lot ;)

Marie does talk about your belongings being alive and that by touching them you are giving them energy and bringing them back to life.  She also says that when you are getting rid of things that you should thank them for making you happy (whether it was for helping you through the loss of a loved one, figuring out what styles you don’t like, or being worn threadbare) and then donating them or throwing them out.  She says you need to handle every single item as you decide so that you can truly know if it brings you joy.  This makes sense to me.  It also seems to me that it can help to get rid of things easier if you do acknowledge its purpose if=n your life and even thanking the item and God for the item.  I know, I know, the item has no clue that you are thanking it – to me its more about letting yourself acknowledge out loud, for your ears to hear, that this item has served its purpose in your life and now its time to move on.

Some items don’t necessarily bring you joy but you have to have them.  So that old spatula in the kitchen doesnt necessarily bring you joy but what you do with it does.  Feeding your family and friends a nutritious meal, baking a cake to celebrate are things that bring you joy – in effect the item does too.

Honestly, I have enjoyed reading this book and plan to look back through it as I declutter / organize things a bit more around here.  Oh – she says not to declutter by room but by item (clothes, books, makeup, etc.) because so many people keep the same types of items in so many different areas.  I am not sure how I will approach this – but am thinking I may just start with my bedroom because that is where most of my stuff is, if I have similar items in another area I may work on those areas of items at that time too.  We will see over the next few weeks as I delve into working on my room :D

Rachel Sig

 

 

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Five Minute Friday – PLAN

This weeks Five Minute Friday prompt is:

PLAN

START

I LOVE to PLAN!  It’s the follow through that I tend to have trouble with.  Or the stick-with-it-ability ;)  It depends on the project and the length of said project and how quickly I see success (that lasts!).  I have a new plan to help me with my weight loss and I am reading some books on how to declutter better and how to decorate my home in a way that brings comfort and joy to all who live here and all who enter.  God has a plan for my life and I know that and I know that I have to apply myself in order to learn more about Him and more about His Plan for me.  I am learning that sometimes the plan is just for my sanity even if it is barely followed I know that I have thought through different versions of the plan. But I need to remember that God has SEEN the way it all plays out so I need to trust His plan and his timing.  Off to work on today’s plan of prayer & action.

STOP

Rachel Sig

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Abraham by Charles Swindoll – Book Review

I LOVED the book Abraham by Charles Swindoll!  I was given a free copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers in return for an honest review.

Abraham Cover

I finished reading Abraham two nights ago and pretty much underlined the last 2 chapters!  Charles Swindoll talked about being old in spirit and even being dead but not in the grave.  Abraham & Sarah were married for over 100 years – he remarried (Genesis 25:1) sometime after her death and had 6 more sons (no mention of daughters), and died at 175 years old!  He lived a life of faith, one where he rarely knew what to expect when God gave him instructions to go or to do.  If we had all the answers, we would not need God!  Abraham was not perfect and did not always do as we would expect a faithful servant of God to act.  Often, in our minds, we think a faithful servant has no flaws and never questions God.  Abraham lied about his marriage to Sarah at least two times, laughed when God told him Sarah would have a baby at 90 years of age pleaded with God for Lot’s life, took matters into his won hands with Hagar (& Ishmael).  But, he always returned to God & His promises.  He knew God’s promises. He did not know when they would be fulfilled.  He didn’t doubt God’s promises.  He didn’t know God’s plan to fulfill those promises.  It’s easy to grow weary when we try to figure out God’s plan, we try to figure out God’s plan, or fret over not knowing the timing or the stepping stones on the path.  If we try to push the plan, it can feel like we are wandering in the dark or like we are in limbo living between two lives.

God’s plan isn’t past then future, or A then Z, or river bank then river bank; there’s the present, B – Y, and river in the middle.  The middle, life, needs faith in God.  Faith in God means trusting Him with the details while you continue living your life.  Don’t act like you’re all ready dead.  Enjoy your family, spend time with friends, read a book, exercise, spend time worshiping, talking to and hearing from God.

On page 249, Charles Swindoll writes, “Great rewards await if you obey without knowing all the details.  It’s a principle God wants each of His followers to experience.  Learning to trust Him is like making a journey step after step.  Faith builds upon faith.  When we trust, we receive unexpected blessings.  This strengthens our confidence and inspires us to trust God again as take another step.  It isn’t complicated, but it goes against our nature.”

I learned so much and am challenged in my faith walk.  I highly recommend you read this book, make the opportunity – don’t just wait for it.

Rachel Sig

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Five Minute Friday – WHEN

I haven’t done a Five Minute Friday in a while.  I am hoping to start up again, starting today.

This Weeks Prompt: WHEN

 

START:

When?  So many things to do and I wonder When?  When will I do it?  When will I have less to do?  Will I know what to do when I do?  LOL  But my real questions are not about when will I get the laundry folded and put away or when the school lessons will be graded or the groceries will be bought.  But when will I remember that its up to me to slow down and take the time that God has given me and invest it in the relationships He gave me?  When will I invest more time in my relationship with Him?  With My Man?  With the kids?  My friends?  Even truly taking care of myself?  When will I figure out what changes I really need to make to get more in shape so I can enjoy doing outside activities in our beautiful home state with my family?  When?  The answer should be now.  But I am afraid of it not working out and of not getting the things done that I know need done even when investing in those relationships – but I KNOW the relationships are so much more important than folded clothes (I mean they are washed and dried right?).  When will I stop going in circles in my thoughts?  WHEN? Now – I will change that now!

 

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Cyber Monday at EduCents

They’re finally here! The two biggest sale days of the year! Educents is having their Black Friday & Cyber Monday sale from November 28 – December 1st, 2014.

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You’ll get an EXTRA 10% off + FREE SHIPPING (in the continental US) on top of their already discounted prices! Use code RoomsofKnowledge10 at checkout to receive the discount. Check out the amazing deals below, categorized by age!

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EduCents Cyber Monday

They’re finally here! The two biggest sale days of the year! Educents is having their Black Friday & Cyber Monday sale from November 28 – December 1st, 2014.

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You’ll get an EXTRA 10% off + FREE SHIPPING (in the continental US) on top of their already discounted prices! Use code RoomsofKnowledge10 at checkout to receive the discount. Check out the amazing deals below, categorized by age!

prekUntitled 12FOR MORE PRE-K DEALS, CLICK HERE30aabbbc-f4bb-476f-9202-84a6c37b1d57Untitled 2FOR MORE KINDER – 2ND GRADE DEALS, CLICK HEREec9a08f1-f9d2-46fe-be59-de55e0eade66Untitled 3FOR MORE 3RD – 5TH GRADE DEALS, CLICK HEREmiddleschoolUntitled 3FOR MORE MIDDLE SCHOOL DEALS, CLICK HEREHSUntitled 5FOR MORE HIGH SCHOOL DEALS, CLICK HERE

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EduCents Black Friday & Cyber Monday Sales

They’re finally here! The two biggest sale days of the year! Educents is having their Black Friday & Cyber Monday sale from November 28 – December 1st, 2014.

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You’ll get an EXTRA 10% off + FREE SHIPPING (in the continental US) on top of their already discounted prices! Use code RoomsofKnowledge10 at checkout to receive the discount. Check out the amazing deals below, categorized by age!

prekUntitled 12FOR MORE PRE-K DEALS, CLICK HERE30aabbbc-f4bb-476f-9202-84a6c37b1d57Untitled 2FOR MORE KINDER – 2ND GRADE DEALS, CLICK HEREec9a08f1-f9d2-46fe-be59-de55e0eade66Untitled 3FOR MORE 3RD – 5TH GRADE DEALS, CLICK HEREmiddleschoolUntitled 3FOR MORE MIDDLE SCHOOL DEALS, CLICK HEREHSUntitled 5FOR MORE HIGH SCHOOL DEALS, CLICK HERE

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Categories: Rachel's Posts | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

EduCents Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals

They’re finally here! The two biggest sale days of the year! Educents is having their Black Friday & Cyber Monday sale from November 28 – December 1st, 2014.

bfcmaffibanner_600

You’ll get an EXTRA 10% off + FREE SHIPPING (in the continental US) on top of their already discounted prices! Use code RoomsofKnowledge10 at checkout to receive the discount. Check out the amazing deals below, categorized by age!

prekUntitled 12FOR MORE PRE-K DEALS, CLICK HERE30aabbbc-f4bb-476f-9202-84a6c37b1d57Untitled 2FOR MORE KINDER – 2ND GRADE DEALS, CLICK HEREec9a08f1-f9d2-46fe-be59-de55e0eade66Untitled 3FOR MORE 3RD – 5TH GRADE DEALS, CLICK HEREmiddleschoolUntitled 3FOR MORE MIDDLE SCHOOL DEALS, CLICK HEREHSUntitled 5FOR MORE HIGH SCHOOL DEALS, CLICK HERE

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God’s Plan for My Day?

     I have been homeschooling for 11 years now and no 2 years have ever looked the same.  I pray and plan a new schedule / routine at the beginning of every school year, I usually have to redo it a few months in.  I have also been known not to redo it and just leave it hanging on the fridge to be ignored (or make me feel guilty for not obeying it’s orders).  Can I get an amen ladies?!?  Raise you head up high, no more hiding in shame – it’s only a piece of paper – it can’t tell us what to do.  I won’t let it dictate my day to me!!!

     WAIT – that’s what I prayed and prayed and prayed and wrote and typed and tweaked it for.  I wanted someone (or something) to tell me how to order my day.  I’m fond of saying, “It’s just a piece of paper”.  But if I truly believe that then why do I pray and ask God to tell me how to order my day?!?

OUCH!

     Maybe my inability to follow that routine on a daily basis and my “routine” of just going with the flow is more about my desire to be in charge of my time than it has to do with the ages of my kids, or potty training, or the randomness of life.

Hmmmm…..

     Our days will never really be the exact same, there are way too many variables.  I know that.  God knows that.  He knew it when I was praying over our days too.  A few things have changed since I made this years daily plan (Little Miss Hugs A Lot is officially completely potty trained, music lessons have changed, some curriculums have been finished), we grade the high schoolers work differently than I originally planned to, Tall Boy has completed the classroom portion of his drivers ed course).  It’s time to go back and look at our daily plan.

Our weekly plan of doing school 4 days and being “off” 1 day is working great and we are on track.  Funnily enough, a piece of paper helps me to stay on track!  LOL  I use My Home School Grades to plan out lessons for the younger 3 and I just print it out daily.  Mr. Thoughtful can look at his paper and see what he needs to do and get started right after breakfast.  I work with the little girls at the same table Mr. Thoughtful is at.  The teens write down all work done in their day and we input it in to My Home School Grades afterwards.  I like these pieces of paper telling me what is next so much that I set myself up as a student in MHSG so I can plan activities for myself (blogging, working out, laundry, daily chores, etc.).

In my previous post I said to quit comparing and just do what works for your family.  Obviously, if my house is messier than I would like and I’m not following my daily plan then I’m still finding out what works for us.  But what worked for us a week or even a couple months ago may no longer work for us because of the changes that have been made.  We need to realize that just as our children’s needs change as they grow so do the demands on our time and their time.  Just like some days I may be kicking toys out of the doorway and other days it’s beautifully clean (I will admit though there there are always stray legos and marbles to be found!).

I’m off to look over our daily routine and see what changes, if any, need to be made and to think about my repulsion to that piece of paper telling me what to do and remember that I asked God to help make that plan in the first place!

I was going to share a pic of our schedule but decided not to just yet since we are talking about not comparing ourselves to others but seeking God’s plan for our days.  Take some time to evaluate your days and what is working in your routines / schedule, pray and seek God’s plan for your days, then talk to your husband and seek his advice.  Write it down, try it out and see how it goes and do not be afraid to tweak it every now and again.

 

Do you have a routine / schedule that works for your family?  How did you come up with it?
Does your routine / schedule need tweaked because of changes?
Are you struggling with creating or following a routine / schedule?

(Cross posted at Encouraging Home)

Rachel Sig

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The Comparison Trap

     I mentioned in my last post that I actually told one of the beautiful ladies I recently went away with, “Your home intimidates me” while sitting around one of our nightly fires.  I told her the following week that I know she’s in a different phase of her life than I am in and it’s the expectations I have for myself that really intimidate me.

     I’ve been talking to a young mom who is homeschooling her kindergartener this year while potty training her 2 year old and caring for her newborn.  I’m not calling her a first time homeschool mom because she’s been teaching her kids since birth, like all the rest of us.  It’s not even her first time with a routine or workbooks.  It is, however, her first year of “official” home education.  And it is her first time as a mom of 3.  She is loving this stage of her life but she’s feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the expectations – expectations that she is placing on herself.  And she’s starting to compare…her home, her kids education, activities, etc.  When I had my third child my older two were much older than this young moms oldest 2 are and I was overwhelmed with all I had to do and we had activities that we did but if I tried to do the activities this mom is doing, and enjoys doing, I would have been in the loony bin!

That’s part (most) of the problem with comparisons and expectations, we are all different.  Some of us are energized by going on field trips and being in church Bible study groups, others by doing art projects in the school room, science projects in the kitchen, or reading to the kids on the couch, or having a cleaning party with the family, and some people are energized by all of the above.  Some of use unit studies in our homeschool, some use text books, some use only “living” books, some don’t read or watch fairy tales, some use only the Bible.

We all are caught in the comparison trap from time to time whether we are using other women in our circle, the Proverbs 31 Woman, or even our past (or our dreams of our future self) as a comparison stick.  Comparison is not always a bad thing, it can show us areas we are lacking in or even areas we are doing pretty good in but when we use it to tell ourselves how awful we are doing in certain areas of our life it is a problem.  Right about then is when we cease to see all that God has accomplished through us and start to see all that we can not accomplish without Him, but we tend to drop the “without Him” part and focus on ourselves.

When we start to feel overwhelmed we tend to look even more at those we are intimidated by to see where we can do better – and we can’t measure up.  Where we should go is to God in prayer, even if it’s 5 minutes in the shower!  He never leaves our side – He patiently waits for us to consult Him about how and when to teach Suzy to read, the best routine / schedule for our day, which activities are best for OUR family, the best way to clean our bathroom, what meals to cook, and more.

*It may take a few showers to have all these conversations with God or it may take 1 shower where you pour your heart out to God and He gives you tidbits of information throughout the day*

     Sometimes, He will even give you the information through a friend, a blog, or Pinterest.  We have to pay attention and we have to test it against His Word.

1) Is this advice / information against the Bible?  (Yes = STOP here! – No = Keep going)
2) Does this sound like it will fit well with our family? (No = STOP here! – Yes = Keep Going)
3) Do I have the necessary resources (time, supplies, $, support)? (No = STOP here! – Yes = Keep Going)

If you can answer the above questions to your satisfaction, talk it over with your husband and try it for a month or so. If it doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to drop it.  Dropping it does not mean you failed, it means this particular thing does not work for your family right now.

 

Let’s Keep the Conversation Going:
What have you felt inadequate in?  What have you done about it?
What have you tried and decided wasn’t a good fit for your family?

(Cross Posted on Encouraging Home)

Rachel Sig

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