Friday, August 28, 2009

First Friday Fill-in

My First Fill-in Friday!

1. He was a carpenter who became my Savior.

2. Cuddling up indoors and the changing tree colors are what I look forward to most this time of year.

3. My best friend is Jesus.

4. I sometimes want to just run away where no one knows me, to be honest with you.

5. Appearances can be an idol.

6. The last person I gave a hug to was my beautiful, amazing, wonderful daughter on her way out to school.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to dinner & a movie with my hubby, tomorrow my plans include a trip to Carowinds, but don't tell hubby - it's a surprise! And Sunday, I want to relax after a great church service and lunch.

Get Your Swag On!

Have you tried SwagBucks yet? I found this site a while back and am now saving up my SwagBucks for some great Christmas presents for the kids & hubby!

Check it out! Only takes 45 SwagBucks to get a $5.00 Amazon gift certificate - so you can see how quickly they will add up!!

Search & Win

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thought for Today

Haven't posted in a bit. Returned from vacation at the beach and my brain has been scattered, can't collect my thoughts...

Anyway, here's a Deep Thought for Today, courtesy of Kay Arthur via Twitter:

"When we see people in sin & rebellion, do we say "how horrible" or" God what do You want me to say?"

Which do you say?

Saturday, August 08, 2009

To infinity and beyond-beyond!

I was extremely blessed to be able to recently attend the Deeper Still conference, with speakers Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, and Priscilla Shirer. (thanks to my sweet hubby for buying me a ticket at the last minute because he knew I *so* wanted to go - even though he wanted us to go to the beach for the weekend!) I encourage every woman reading this to try and attend this conference if you are able. These amazing women challenged me to go "Deeper Still" in every part of my spiritual life. They renewed my love for the Word, gave encouragement for dealing with these trying times we live in, and reminded me that ALL the guidance I need for my daily life is found between the covers of the beloved Word of God.

(click the teachers' names for more info about them)

Priscilla is a blessed young mother who is a wonderful, dynamic Bible teacher. She reminded us all that GOD IS ABLE to do "more than we can ever ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20-21) - to not only go beyond our expectations, but beyond-beyond anything we can ask or imagine (according to His will). How amazing is it that we can ask for something from God, and know that He can do more than we could even imagine!

It's like asking for a scoop of vanilla ice cream and getting a scoop of vanilla with warm chocolate sauce on top.
But wait, there's more! Not only do you get a scoop of vanilla with warm chocolate sauce on top, but you get more delicious toppings in addition that you could even IMAGINE - tastes you couldn't have even dreamed up in your own mind, treats that leave you reeling from the sheer bliss of it! How amazing that our God IS ABLE, and wants to give us this in everything we ask of Him according to His will?? Are we believing that? Do you believe that God can not only make your husband spend more time with you, but that he can also make your husband crave Scripture, be more affectionate toward you and your children, AND take you on a luxury cruise for no reason?? Sounds impossible, you say? The point is - GOD IS ABLE!!

If you're single and wish to be married - do you believe that God is bringing you a special man? Do you believe He will bring you someone perfect for you? Ok, do you believe that He will bring someone who is special, perfect for you, loves Jesus, wants to spoil you like a princess, AND is drop-dead gorgeous?? Because God IS ABLE - if you trust in Him!

Do you really believe that God can deliver your child from drugs? Do you believe He can deliver your child from drugs and make him/her want to go to college and graduate with honors? Do you believe He can deliver your child from drugs, make him/her want to go to college and graduate with honors, AND give them a calling to missions work where they will spread the Gospel to many, many others as a lifelong calling? Because guess what - God IS ABLE!

Ask God for what you need or want,
but expect BEYOND-BEYOND what you can ever imagine!

Kay Arthur - WOW. I'd never heard her speak before this conference. When she came on stage, and mentioned that she's 75 years old (she looks every bit of 60, if that!), my first thought was "Oh well, this should be good, but probably nothing I can relate to..." - she KNOCKED ME OFF MY FEET! In the midst of a 45 minute Scripture quotation/narrative (amazing how much Scripture this woman knows!) she shared her amazing testimony. "Oh, by the way, in case you think God isn't able... He delivered me from X,Y, Z, and a, b, c..." and my jaw was literally left hanging. She is so utterly transparent, unabashed in her love for Christ and his redemptive power in her own life. I don't know about you, but older women that I know don't discuss such things as adulterous affairs they had in younger years, what crappy mothers they were when their children were young, the mistakes that they made along the way - it's not something that's brought up in polite conversation, you know. Kay Arthur....thank you! For showing me that it's OK to admit we aren't perfect and never have been, to take off the mask no matter our age or mistakes of the past, and to be authentic in our identity in Christ Jesus!

"Holding onto my past means that I am not believing God's Promises" can I hold on to my mistakes if it means I am saying I don't believe in what my God says He WILL do?? I can't. Period. I just looked back at my notes from that Friday night - and at the top of the page, I'd written "Embrace my victory! End my 40 years of wandering!" That pretty much sums up the whole lesson for me from Kay.

Another big part of her teaching that night was on REST.
As she puts it:
Taking the Word (what God says about my situation),
marrying it with Faith (believing it!),
equals REST that only He can give.
Does anyone else need a little REST? Can I get an "Amen, sister!" :) Praise God!!

Beth Moore - need I say more? :) This woman has a blessed anointing on her teachings and is one of the funniest, yet thought-provoking teachers I've ever heard. I was laughing until my face hurt one minute, and the next crying tears of conviction and praise the next.

One question from Beth that stuck in my heart:
Are you a Casual Christian, or a Committed Christian?
Do I really put God in first place where He belongs? I don't mean just saying that I do, I mean DOING it - by spending time in His Word every day, by worshiping Him at ALL times, by not trying to control my life's circumstances or others but keeping my eyes fixed on Him. (did I hear another "Amen, sister!" there?)

Do I have a drive-through fellowship with God? Do I slip in a prayer of thanks for every meal, a little blurb in the morning before I get out of bed, and another just before bed? Or do I spend time in REAL fellowship with my God. Does He not deserve more of my time? The one who created me, redeemed me, renews me - doesn't He deserve more than just a "Hi God, could you please do [this thing] for me? Thank you, Amen" prayer life?

DIALOGUE with God is true fellowship - and dialogue goes BOTH WAYS. We need to listen to God as well as speak to Him. This doesn't mean in-depth Bible studies, though they have their place and they are encouraged for us to grow in the Word. But we can quote Scripture till the cows come home, but if we don't KNOW Him, if we don't fellowship with Him as we would our very, very, very best and oldest friend - what good is it?

I am guilty of drive-through fellowship, don't get me wrong - that is why this message stabbed me in the heart. I say I don't have enough time in the day...but to put other things ahead of God in my day-planner?? God knows we are busy, especially moms - stay-at-home or working outside the home, wives, sisters, daughters, grandmothers - ALL women are busy and stretched beyond their abilities these days.

Look back at what Kay Arthur said, and pair it with what Beth Moore said - we will only find REST in God. But not if we continue to put him on the back burner for "more pressing" things that steal our time.

Well, this has gotten long enough...I could go on and on about this amazing experience. But I will just end here and encourage you all to try your best to attend some day! But more importantly, try to put God back in First place - no matter what! That's my goal, please pray that I will! Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Food Lion Couponing 101

Get the newest Food Lion deals here each week
(just click the Subscribe/POSTS button on the right side of the screen):

Several of you wanted to know how to do Food Lion couponing after seeing my yesterday's trip in which I got:
2 rolls Home360 paper towels
2 packs Healthy Accents cotton rounds
1.63 lb fresh cherries
1 Kiwi
2 lbs bananas
4 Starbucks fraps
2 4-packs FL Clearly Sparkling white grape water (clearance for $1.29)
2 small bags of salad
4 LARGE Ragu pasta sauce
4 Easy Mac (B1G1F coupons I had)
1 Hi-C

Total before Qs & MVP: $71.03
Total OOP: $18.04

So here you go!

NOTE: You can only use one of *each*
FLIP (Food Lion Internet Printable)
for the same product per transaction.

For instance - in one transaction:
1 FLIP for coffee
1 FLIP for Home360 item
1 FLIP for Health Accents product
This is fine!

2 FLIPs for coffee = Not allowed!
1 FLIP for Home360 item
1 FLIP for Health Accents product

Some stores will allow you to do multiple transactions at one visit, some won't. Try doing two transactions your first trip, then you'll know which stores are FLIP-Friendly. ;)

FLIPs can be printed here - --- many in first few posts, then you can scroll through the other posts to get different ones as other's post their finds.

More recent ones are here:

****These change weekly (some monthly)
so keep checking back for the newest coupons!****

Changes are usually on Wednesday mornings, since that's when the new sales start.

You can find *my* finds/deals here every week:

They are PDF files - so you will need Adobe Reader to view/print them. (most people already have this software installed)

Let's go shopping!

What I do is paperclip my coupons together so I can stay organized in the store.
For instance yesterday I had these together for each trip:

  • 1 Guiding Stars (produce, meats, dairy, canned/frozen veggies, can use this on just about anything that's semi-healthy)
  • 1 Hi-C
  • 1 Starbucks (use on individual cold one and get them for CHEAP!)
  • 1 Home 360 (paper products, storage/trash bags, wipes, cleaning products, school/office supplies. etc are Home360)
  • 1 Healthy Accents (look on health/beauty aisle for these products)

Take one or two stacks of your paper clipped coupons in, and there ya have it!
  • Look for items that will be free or the cheapest with your coupons - for instance, cherries are $1.49/lb this week so I got a little over a pound yesterday. Bananas are 39¢/lb, so I got 2 lbs plus 1 Kiwi for 59¢ (since the Guiding Stars coupon states "purchase must exceed $1.00).
  • For Home360 and Healthy Accents - get the smallest/cheapest of whatever you need/want - emery boards are 99¢, for instance (Healthy Accents) and 13 gallon trash bags are $1.49 (Home360).

Any questions - feel free to ask! :)

Happy Shopping!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Have you Habakkuk?

First off: I am NOT a morning person, and usually hit the snooze button at least 5-10 times before getting out of bed. My 16yo daughter now has to wake ME up in the mornings for school (to take her, not myself). I tell her it's just my body's way of resting up after 21 years of getting up at 4-6am for kids. ;)

Anyway, I just committed to joining the 5:16 Gals yesterday - and this morning I was WIDE awake, tossing & turning, thinking it was probably about 3am...finally looked at the clock, and it was 5:15am.

How good is my GOD???

I got up and read Habakkuk - had been feeling led to read this itty-bitty book for days. Got some amazing insight when I did!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Are you a 5:16 Gal?

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What is a 5:16 gal?

A 5:16 gal is a gal who has decided that she wants to redeem the time with her Savior. She is choosing to rise early, before the day takes her away, to sit at the feet of Jesus.

What is the 5:16 club?

The idea for the 5:16 club originated here, and began as the 5 am club. While the ultimate goal is to rise early, circumstances don't always allow (pregnancy, new baby, illness, etc.). The real purpose of this club is to encourage and journey with one another as we seek to spend time with the Lord every day - whatever time of the day you are able.

Why 5:16?

Ephesians 5:16 says, "making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." The literal meaning is "redeem the time." We are seeking to redeem the time and make the most of every opportunity to seek the Lord with all our hearts. Why? Because the days are evil. We must prepare for battle each and every day - sometimes just to get through the day!

Where do we "club?"

We "club" over at the 5:16 forum where we study scripture, pray for each other, and encourage one another in the Lord! Come join us for our latest study! If you're on Twitter, you can find the gals at the 516 Twibe where you can chat live!

How much is your cell phone bill?

Ours is OUTRAGEOUS! We switched from Net10 (which I LOVED, but wanted more features) 2 years ago, to Verizon Wireless. Then a few months later added my daughter to our plan. For 3 phones (1 is a Blackberry), we pay...hold your seats...$180 a month! I know, I know, so much for saving money with coupons, huh?? Plus, we still have a house phone, since hubby is old-school and is "scared" to get rid of it. (his word, not mine)

I heard about this deal on Clark Howard and thought I'd pass it along. Our contract is up this month (thank God!) and I'm going to try and switch to Boost Mobile $50/unlimited everything.

Yes, $50 for unlimited calling, texting, pictures, web, everything!! I may have to trade my precious Blackberry for another model, not sure if mine is compatible yet (waiting on the good folks at to let me know). Wish me luck! And check out that deal for yourself if you want to save some big bucks!