“28 Days to Timeliness” on sale for just $0.99 this week only!

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution to start being on time this year? If not, should you have made a goal about timeliness?

Well, guess what?! I am the perfect person to help you with your timeliness goals and resolutions because I’ve been there, done that (sometimes am still there) and because my eBook, “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person” is on sale on Amazon for just $0.99 this week only!

28DaysFinalsmall
Go here
to purchase your copy. Already have a copy? Tell your friends about it so they can buy one!

If you’ve read my book and found it helpful, please leave a review on Amazon.

Thank you so much for your support everyone!

Share

Time Keeper 2014 Household Planner Giveaway: Winner Announced!

The winner of the Time Keeper 2014 Household Planner is MBW (mbwelch5@…)

TimeKeeper
For those of you who would like to purchase that planner, it looks like there are a few left here. (I’m not an affiliate.)

If you’d prefer free planner pages, check out these free downloads on MoneySavingMom.com. The downloads include menu planning sheets, household management forms, weekly goal-planning sheets, and more! (Some of these are perfect to use in conjunction with my declutter series!)

Congratulations, MBW! An email has been sent to you with details on how to claim your prize.

Share

Letting it Go

This post is for those of you who need a little encouragement to share your gifts with others.

I’ve written several articles on here about living intentionally and using our talents. I’m trying to do both of those things, but it’s a process and I need to give myself plenty of grace as I learn.

One thing I’m realizing is that with everything I do, there comes a time when I need to let it go.

Letting go when it's time to share your work with the world
When I write an article, I eventually need to hit “publish” and leave it alone. When I write a book, I have to get to a point where I stop writing/editing and start publishing or it will never have a chance of being read.

The more information I share with others, the more I’m realizing that once I allow my words to become public, I can’t control what other people do with them.

And that’s okay.

I think it’s important to understand that while it is our responsibility to use our talents well, it is not our responsibility to make sure everyone else accepts or uses our works just how we want them to.

Hopefully we all want to be careful to honor other’s wishes with work they put out there, but when it’s our own work, someone may misquote us, share something we didn’t give permission to share, or not like what we’re doing.

So we need to remember that, while we should want to bless others with our talents, we’re ultimately serving God.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24)

If you have something you want to share but have been afraid of what will happen once your work is out there, I want to encourage you to let go of your fear and release your work. Share your talents.

What about you? What talents do you share or struggle with sharing?

Share

Top Ten Posts on My Blog in 2013

Best of 2013

When I began writing this article, I re-read many of the posts I’ve written this year. That was quite an experience for me!

I revisited feelings that were difficult to put into words, I re-experienced the raw emotions that come from sharing things I’d always kept tucked into my heart, and I was reminded that I’ve let you see insecurities I’d prefer to keep hidden.

Why did I do it? Because, to me, writing is healing. And I hope that sharing what I write will be a blessing to you.

My prayer for this list is that you will be inspired and encouraged by the articles I’m linking to. Please don’t feel like you need to read all ten articles right now. Choose the ones that will bless you the most and leave the others for another day.

My Top Ten Articles in 2013:

10. When You Really Need a Friend

Six Things To Do When You Really Need A Friend

This article was one of the most difficult articles for me to write this year, but the e-mails, Facebook messages, comments, text messages, and phone calls I received after it was published made me realize that I was not alone.

I was hiding behind a mask – a facade I’d created for myself. And even though I had a few friends, I still felt incredibly lonely. When I think back to that time, my heart aches for the hurt I used to harbor inside, the walls that I’d built around myself, and the people I’d hurt by refusing to let them in.

Go here to find out what changed.

9. Extending Grace

WP_001827

Who doesn’t need more grace? This is something we should generously offer to ourselves as well as to others.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about grace, and about how the desire for grace is often one-sided.

For example, how many times have we wronged someone else and made excuses for our behavior, then turned right around and uttered something like, “But that person doesn’t deserve my grace?”

 Read the rest of the article here.

8. The Problem with Perfection

944511_10100495599059417_1609460119_n

Don’t we all love for things to be perfect? Perfect weather, perfect hair, perfect home, perfect food, perfect kids, perfect spouse… But the desire for perfection can be a dangerous trap if we’re not careful; if we dwell on the desire for a perfect anything, we can easily become dissatisfied with the imperfect everything.

Go here to read the rest.

7. Imperfect Beauty

Too often, many of us will mentally zoom in on our perceived flaws while simultaneously minimizing the good. This short post, followed with a powerful video, is meant to encourage those who struggle to see their own beauty within.
WP_001573

When I look in my backyard right now, I see grass in desperate need of mowing. My children, however, see wildflowers waiting to be picked. Don’t we do that with ourselves, as well as our things? Too often, we focus in on the imperfections.

But the thing is, beauty is always there, around us, and within us – we just need to choose to see it.

WildFlowers
Read the rest of the article and watch the amazing video here.

6. Buried Talent

WP_001483

More than any other article on my blog, this post reveals my heart regarding my fears about writing. If you also struggle with fear, or with not using your talents wisely, then this is a must read.

Here’s a snippet:

I also get that if I don’t write, then I’m burying my talent. And while talent-burying is a safe and comfortable way to live, it’s not what I truly want to do.

This is kind-of like the buried talents we read about in Matthew 25:14-30.

… That servant didn’t lose his talent, he simply tucked it away for safe keeping. And he was condemned for it.

The parable could be about me…  I bury my talent and think of every reason imaginable not to use it. But really, I am just scared. Scared of rejection, and ridicule, and losing my readership, and saying the wrong thing in the wrong way, and, and, and…

Read the full post here.

5. It’s Going to Happen…

GraceInDirt

This article is a must-read for every parent.

I tend to get a little nervous when I’m away from my children. Each time I leave them, I wonder what if something happens? Then one day it hit me that something will happen – Lord willing, my children will grow up.

And, yes, that’s what I want, but it’s coming sooner and faster than I can even fathom right now

I can choose to be there, intentionally fighting to keep our schedule and routine under control, or I can choose, by default, to blink in 15 years and wonder when and how my children became adults.

Read the rest of the article here.

4. Our Sunday is Coming

WaitOnTheLord

For those of you going through a difficult circumstance, my prayer is that you will be encouraged by this article, which was quoted in part from the book Plan B.

When Jesus was crucified on the cross, that scene looked like chaos. Complete and utter chaos. It felt so desperate, so dark, so hopeless. There was so much grief and agony, so many people saying, “Why, God? How could this happen?” What they didn’t know was that Sunday was right around the corner…

Often when we’re at our most discouraged, when we’re so weary that we’re ready to give up, what we don’t know is that our Sunday is right around the corner. Maybe it’s a game to Satan – he enjoys getting us to stumble right before our Sunday comes so that he can laugh while we say, “If I only knew that my Sunday was right around the corner, I could have held on just a little bit longer. If only I knew.”

Read the full article here.

3. Quiet Beauty Amidst Sorrow

WP_003433

I lost four family members in nine months and this was a very difficult article for me to write, but it’s one that I hope will encourage those who are grieving, as well as offer a little insight for those who have grieving loved ones.

Lingering, being comforted just by being close, and not needing words to express sorrow helped so much…

Through this, lives have been forever changed. My relatives and I are all more aware that each breath is a precious gift. Many people’s day-to-day lives have been drastically altered. Holiday gatherings will never be quite the same. Gathering with family now, knowing that some of those missing will never be back, is a difficult concept to wrap my mind around.

 Read the full article here.

2. The Connected Disconnect

Phone

Think the internet opens you up to all kinds of connections? Think again.

We have so many sources to stay connected to the world around us. Yet, the more we use technology to stay connected with others, the more disconnected we become with the things happening right in front of us.

Read the full article here.

1. Advice from Your Future Self: 12 Things You’ll Wish You Always Knew

FutureSelf2

If you only read one article on my entire blog, read this one.

Since hindsight offers perfect vision, I mentally fast-forwarded our lives 50 years to create this list of a dozen habits we’ll one day wish we’d practiced:

Read the thought-provoking list here.

In Conclusion

As 2013 comes to a close, I’m going to take my own advice by focusing more on my family and less on the Internet so I won’t be blogging again until 2014. I will, however, check back to moderate comments and answer questions.

I’m planning on starting a new series in January about decluttering, so make sure to subscribe in the right sidebar so you don’t miss out! (Remember, subscribers also get a FREE copy of my eBook “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms.”)

Happy Holidays from my family to yours!

IMG_5315

Share

Updates: my Pinterest account, share buttons, and comment replies

Want to know what I’ve been doing a lot of lately? Eating my words. Seriously. For example, I just warned against getting drawn into Pinterest last Wednesday. By last Saturday, I had my own account and was pinning away.

Pinterest

I admit it: those of you who told me to give Pinterest a try were right, and I was wrong. I especially love all of the simple recipes I’m finding on there. I thoroughly enjoyed posting about books I love. I also have boards for camping recipes, dinner and dessert recipes, intentional living, motherhood, time-saving tips, and more. I’m enjoying sharing recipes with my friends. And I love that my eight year old found a simple chore idea and printable on a friend’s account and created a cleaning bucket for herself and her sister!

WP_002903

I’m new to this and would love for you to send me links to your pins that you think I’ll enjoy (I’m especially looking for very simple recipes right now). So go ahead and check out my Pinterest page, then follow me if you’d like!

In addition to opening a Pinterest account, there’s something else new around here – my techie husband set up share buttons for me! So now when you read an article you really like, you can pin, post to twitter, share on Facebook, e-mail, etc. with one easy click! I’m really excited about that new feature!

ShareButton

My husband is also working on having e-mails sent to readers after someone replies to their comment, but it may be a bit before that’s ready. In the meantime, I want all of you to know that I respond to every single comment on my blog. So if you’ve ever left a comment, take a look around to find my reply!

Happy back-to-school week, I hope your school year is off to a blessed start!

Share

Extending Grace

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about grace, and about how the desire for grace is often one-sided.

WP_001858

For example, how many times have we wronged someone else and made excuses for our behavior, then turned right around and uttered something like, “But that person doesn’t deserve my grace?”

When we speak shortly to someone or show up late to an appointment, we tend to justify our own behavior and we want the other person to recognize that we’re stressed out and busy. But if someone else is snappy with us? Sadly, many of us (myself included) often don’t recognize the stress in their lives and we instead become offended by the person’s outward behavior.

Yes, we should all try to do our best, and no it is not okay for anyone to treat others poorly, but the truth is that all of us fail at times.

And when we mess up, we usually want people to extend grace towards us, but too many times we don’t want to offer that same grace to others.

That is a dangerous place to be.

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”Matthew 11:25-26 (emphasis mine)

Grace means unmerited favor. By definition, grace isn’t something that’s earned. Grace is a beautiful gift that’s offered to the undeserving.

WP_001827

I want to encourage you to extend grace – offer the same grace to others that you’d want them to offer to you.

And when we’re the ones who mess up? Instead of making excuses and justifying our behavior, let’s realize that we’ve messed up, then give ourselves the grace that we want others to extend to us. Yes, we need to repent for wrongdoings, and seek forgiveness, but we shouldn’t stay in that guilty place.

Realize there is hope for change. We can be refined.

“For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.” Psalm 66:10

I hope you will take a minute to listen to this song (e-mail subscribers, you may need to click over to the blog to see the video). While we do need to allow ourselves time to heal, let’s not waste unneeded time and energy focusing on worldly hurts, as we instead focus on the big picture and the Ultimate Goal.

P.S. If you’re struggling with a particularly difficult person or situation, I recommend reading this article for further advice and encouragement.

Share

Sacrificial Giving

I’ve been researching and praying for quite awhile to try to figure out how I can serve others, by myself as well as with my family. I know that we can’t (and shouldn’t) do everything, but we can do something.

LincolnMemorialMay2011

Lincoln Memorial May 2011

And I truly love to serve others with my time and resources – when it’s out of my abundance. When I have extra “stuff” it’s so easy and joyful to give to those who could benefit from our old things!

Now that we’ve decluttered our home,  however, and gotten rid of so much excess, I’m finding that when I give, it’s more of myself than my abundance. And that’s the way we should give – sacrificially.

“Then [Jesus] said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23

Here’s something I somehow missed about sacrificial giving though – sometimes it hurts. It’s hard. It takes time. It causes growing pains. I guess that’s all part of the “sacrifice” in “sacrificial giving.”

But there’s a much bigger sacrifice than one I’ve ever made.

Today I think of all those who have lived their lives, and then lost their lives, in service to our country. Those service men and women served us even though we’re mere strangers to them.

PriceOfFreedom

WWII Memorial

They didn’t just serve when it was convenient for them. They served when they were hungry, fatigued, missing their loved ones, and longing for a little time off. Even when they didn’t feel like it, they served anyways.

Sometimes we’re grateful, but many of us (including me) tend to forget the sacrifice of others and we see holidays like today as an excuse to have a day off work and school so we can enjoy grilled hamburgers and cold soda with our friends.

Go ahead and enjoy your burger, but I also want to encourage you to remember. Remember why you have the freedoms you have. Think of those who lost their lives for your freedom, and their family members, even if you don’t know those people personally.

Right now, I’m struggling to find joy in the sacrifice of sacrificial giving.  But I can learn. I can look to others as an example. I know that the more I give, the more joyful it can become, with God’s help.

And I can remember He who paid the ultimate sacrifice, not just for a country or a time period, but for all mankind – a sacrifice that transcends time.

Thank you Lord, for sending your Son to earth to show the ultimate sacrificial example in life and in death. Thank you for your patience with me as I learn to find joy in the sacrifice. In Jesus name, Amen.

IMG_2834

Each star represents 100 American service personnel who died or remained missing from WWII.

Share

Free Printable for Facebook Fans!

Many of you know that I’ve written two eBooks. “28 Days to Timeliness: Tips and Confessions from a Semi-Reformed Late Person” is currently available for just $2.99 and “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” is FREE to blog subscribers.

28DaysFinal 101TimeSavingTipsDavonneParksCover

A big theme throughout both books is to be intentional – we can’t always be on time or save a lot of time if we’re consistently squandering time. So, for a little daily reminder, I asked Joy from Five J’s Design to create an Intentional Living Subway Art printable that I could give to my readers.

I’m excited to announce the printable artwork is ready and it’s on my Facebook page! To receive your FREE printable, “Like” me on Facebook if you haven’t already, then click on the “Fans-Only Content” directly under the “Like” button. After that, just click on the image, then print it. Easy, peasy!

Intentional-LivingPrintableYou can print in color or black and white. I chose color.

WP_001668(1)

If you’re excited about this little freebie, please help me spread the word by sharing this information with your friends!

Happy Monday!

IntentionalLivingPrintableInSchoolroom

Share

Imperfect Beauty

When I look in my backyard right now, I see grass in desperate need of mowing.

WP_001573

My children, however, see wildflowers waiting to be picked.

WildFlowers

Don’t we do that with ourselves, as well as our things? Too often, we focus in on the imperfections.

The thing is, beauty is always there, around us, and within us – we just need to choose to see it.

I want to encourage you to watch this video. It is so powerful. You may look into the mirror and see what you think are flaws, but so many others look at you and see the flowers.

“I will praise You [Lord], for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.” Proverbs 139:14

Share

A Peek At What I’ve Been Up To

Good morning!

I have all kinds of blog post ideas floating around in my head, but alas, the busy-mom side of me has taken precedent over my writing side this week.

I can’t wait to get back to writing more often again (I’m hoping to start my next book soon!), but for now I’ll show you a peek at what I’ve been up to.

SPECIAL NOTE: Please don’t judge me for the “before” photo!

Schoolroom Before

Schoolroom After

Schoolroom After (2)

It feels so good to have our school/play room back in order! We are incredibly blessed to have this great space and I want to appreciate it more by taking better care of it on a regular basis.

I’d love to hear what all of you are up to this week!

PS If you’re new here and would like to receive a FREE copy of my new eBook, “101 Time-Saving Tips for Busy Moms” just sign up in the subscription bar on the right side of this page. Make sure to click on the activation link you receive in your inbox because your book won’t be sent to you until after you do so!

Happy Wednesday!

Share