Monday, September 29, 2014

Personal Daily Planning Pages: October (free Printable!)

We've talked about my planning binder before...




and most recently,



and here's the thing. I learned that sometimes you've got to redesign and rethink the pages you're using. Figure out what works and what doesn't. And that's really the benefit of custom pages, right? You can change them. Unlike in the rest of my life, when it comes to my planner, I thrive on change. I need to mix things up every once in a while. Sometimes I need more structure, sometimes I need less.

I liked using "blank date" pages because 1) I could just print out a whole bunch and fill in the dates later, and 2) if I skipped a day (or week, or month), it didn't matter much.

And for a season, that worked for me.

But this season, I realized that if I was actually planning on using the pages every day (and I was), it made more sense and saved some time if I just dated them. And, well, I wanted something completely different. I get bored! And if I'm bored with my pages, I don't use them.*

Here's what I'm using now, and here are some examples of how I'm using them:


Blank pages. I tried using a one-page spread for my daily planning pages, but it just wasn't quite enough room. Close, but not quite. So I went with a two-page spread, and while I know that I won't fill in every little line, it gives me lots of room to be flexible.


And here's "today." (Okay, so it was "today" at the time I took the picture.)

I usually end up listing my "to do's" at the top of the left-hand page:


Here, I used two columns- one for my household tasks (which I usually do in the afternoon, so I hadn't gotten a chance to get them done, yet), and my "online" tasks.

I've also divided up tasks by morning, afternoon, evening; or I've put the high priority in one column and the lower priority in a different column... it's nice to decide how to organize my tasks based on what's going on that day.


And here's a different day. I don't usually use the whole page for my tasks list, so I can use the rest of the page for notes or reminders, or for prayer requests I'd like to remember. There's no set"spot" for anything, so I can shift everything around based on what my day looks like.


The right-hand side of my day usually looks a little like this. I debated if I should include a full schedule section, but I don't need a daily schedule often enough to really justify using the space. If I do have appointments to remember, I'll write the time and details on this page.

I also like that these pages give me flexibility to include some journaling if I'd like, and again, I don't use the whole page most of the time.


One of my new favorite uses for my daily pages is my blessings list. My small group started reading "One Thousand Gifts," and I was really challenged to make daily gratitude a habit. And where better than right in front of my face! On this particular day, I didn't need to have my meal plans because we were eating at Camp (I know, we're blessed), so I just started my list at the top of the page.


So there you have it! My current daily pages.

And, because I'm creating them for myself anyway, I figured that I would share the fun:

Pre-dated October 2014 Printables. For you! 




If you'd like to download my pages for October, go ahead and click here.

A note about printing: These pages are 8.5 x 5.5 sized, so they should fit in Martha Stewart small format binders, A5 size binders, and Classic size binders. You may need to trim a little.

You will want to print these double sided, flipping on the short end of the paper (or top-to-bottom printing). They'll look a little crazy at first (i.e. the pages don't seem like they're in order) but it should work just fine. After printing, cut the pages in half, and three-hole punch the edge you cut.


And if you don't want my pages, that's just fine! Remember, it's all about what works for you. If this format doesn't work for you, go find one that does!

Happy Planning!


*I've found that there are two kinds of "bored" when it comes to planning pages: sometimes the boredom is easily solved by changing a font or mixing up a color, and sometimes "bored" actually means "doesn't work for me anymore."

If you're feeling bored with your pages, I'd recommend that before changing everything (or printing every single pretty printable you find online... been there), you figure out what the problem is. Too much structure? Not enough structure? Sections that don't fit your lifestyle right now? Not enough space? Too much space?

I know it's tempting to just overhaul the whole thing, but if you put a little extra thought into it, you'll be more successful at finding a planner that you actually use- one that works for you.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Spiritual Discipline: Memorize Scripture



"Adrie," you're saying to your screen, "we already talked about the Bible last week. Go drink some more coffee and GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME!"

To that I say, I can't hear you through the screen and yes, I think I will go have some more coffee.

We talked last week a bit about the discipline of studying and spending time in God's Word, because growing in faith is an important part of spiritual maturity that you can work on right now- married or single.

But we can't just stop at studying. While studying and applying Scripture to our lives is important, we need to follow Jesus' example and go one step further.

"My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart."- Proverbs 7:1-3

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."- Psalm 119:9-11

I believe that reading the Bible does help us to store up God's word in our hearts to some extent, but memorizing Scripture takes this to a whole new level.

But memorizing Scripture takes work. 

There are a ton of resources online to help with this (see here for some resources), but I've found that the "old school way" works best for me.

Repeat, repeat, repeat. 

Write the verse down again and again and again.

Make flashcards.

Say your memory verse every time you eat.

Put your verse on post-it's and stick them around your house. Say it out loud whenever you see the post-it.

Review older memory verses on a weekly basis.

Put your verse to a tune.

Assign verses to beads of a bracelet - I do this and I really like it. I have one verse for all the metal beads, one verse for all the sparkle beads, one for the glass beads... and then when I get a spare moment (waiting for a website to load, in line at the grocery store), I start going through my bracelet.

Why It Matters
It takes work, patience, and practice, to be sure- but memorizing Scripture is a very valuable tool. Haven't you ever wished you could remember that great verse to speak life into a friend? I know I have.

Memorizing Scripture is also one way to help drown out the lies in our lives.

You know, the "You're not enough" lie? Try fighting that one with Philippians 4:13. Or when you're disappointed with the way you look? 1 Peter 3:4.

Find the places that you're having struggles, find a verse or passage that speaks God's truth into that sore spot, and memorize it.

A quick note- I think it's very important to recognize the context of the verse you're learning. It's so easy to take Scripture completely out of context, or to miss an important piece of truth, and that's one reason that whole Scripture memorization can be so powerful. Personally, I'm not there yet- I'm working my way up from just a few verses at a time. Typically, the verses I memorize are verses that I'm studying as well- so I'm sure to know the context. And I think it's okay to start small- I tend to overwhelm myself with super-great ideas and then I just can't make it a habit because it's too much. You know?

Just do it. Start where you feel comfortable, and if it's too much, back off a little. It's about growing, and even growing takes practice.

Take some time to inscribe God's word on your heart.


 It really makes a difference.


How do you memorize Scripture? Do you have a favorite technique or trick?



Thursday, September 25, 2014

I Told You that to Tell You This: Apple Chips, Farm Cats, and a Link Up


~1~

This has been a weird week in chez Little. I worked all last weekend, so had Monday off (and did nothing. Seriously. Nothing.), and then worked late on Tuesday night, came in early on Wednesday with a "last minute run to Menards"-that-ended-up-taking-all-of-three-hours-chaser. I just feel very... off kilter. My routines! I need my routines!

~2~
That said, I need you all to pray for us, please. Something has (just now, like, this very morning) come up, something that would really throw off my routines, but my heart strings are being tugged. Strongly. I'm just not sure that Zeke's are being tugged the same way, and I can be really really impulsive and I jump right in where he looks before he leaps. And you know, just this morning, so he probably hasn't had time to even think about any of this, but it's big on my mind.

I do realize that I'm being very vague- but maybe just pray that we'll very clearly see God's will and doors will open wide if this is the right thing. And if it is the right thing, trust me, you'll hear all about it.


~3~
A lighter, {happy} note: We have tons of apples. Zeke's folks have an apple tree that was majorly overloaded this year... so we came home with tons of 'em. Just trying to be helpful, you know. 

So Zeke decided to dehydrate them and make apple chips. So yummy! 




 ~4~
While at the farm- I thought this was so {funny}
 

Two cats who just loved walking like this. Too cute.


~5~
While I know I'm really blessed to have meals provided for us during the summer (and the no-clean up, no grocery shopping that goes along with that), there's just something wonderful about reclaiming my kitchen each Fall.

Chicken stock in progress.

~6~
So, I no longer have ballet flats due to an unfortunate "while at a retreat, someone took them" situation.

Wait, I didn't tell you about that yet?

Okay, so two weeks ago I went to a retreat. There were a lot of ladies there, and it was rainy. (The rainy part is important, here.) The first night, there was a very nice lady who won a door prize, and she mentioned that her luggage had been lost in the airport. Bummer deal, for sure.

Anyway, my group went for a hike, and my trusty ole ballet flats went too, and got really muddy. So, instead of cleanin' 'em up before dinner (we were late already), I put them in the shared bathroom and put on my other pair of shoes, figuring I'd avoid tracking mud everywhere and I'd clean them later. But when I went back later, they were gone. I looked around, checked the lost and found... nothing.

Until the last day of the retreat, when I saw the door prize lady who lost her luggage. She was wearing my shoes. Huh? But I then I thought, "Well, she might have the same pair!" and then also "She's way taller than me, she probably has bigger feet. So she couldn't be wearing my shoes."

But then I noticed her heels hangin' off the back of them. Those shoes were way too small for her. And I was pretty darn sure they were mine. But how do you go up to someone you don't know and say, "Hey, are you wearing my shoes?"

Weird, the whole situation.



~7~
I told you that to tell you this-

I'm kind of lost without my ballet flats. I gotta get myself a new pair, but until then, I've been trying to work my customary skirts-with-ballet-flats outfits minus the ballet flats. Flip flops have worked great, but now it's getting colder...

So I need help. Because, as I've said, I'm really not much for fashion.  


Here's my outfit for today...

Ignore the messy office in the background. And the garbage can. And the fact that my cardigan is a button off.  There are reasons I don't do this.

... and that's my only idea. (Although I must say, the dress is a {pretty] one. Thank you mother-in-law!) So, I obviously need some help. I asked for help on Facebook, too... but I figured I'd ask again... because desperate.


Link up here with your favorite cowboy boot/skirt outfits. Or just any cowboy boot/skirt outfit. Any outfit at all.

You know what? Let's get wild- link up ANY Fall outfit! 

And, because, you know, the Fall is the perfect time to wear... Fall outfits, this link up will be open for a while. I got no rules. Go crazy.







Happy Thursday!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Spiritual Discipline: Study the Word


I am blessed to have Bible reading folks in my life.

I am not one of them. (And apparently, I'm not alone.)

The importance of spending time in Scripture isn't lost on me- I know that His Word has immense power, that rooting myself in it helps me to overcome some of the influence of the world. But actually sitting down, opening my Bible, and reading the truth of it's pages? It isn't a natural priority for me.

While I struggle with this particular discipline, I know that my attitudes, my priorities, and my lifestyle changes when I do make spending time in Scripture a priority.

But I need help to do it.

Maybe you're finding yourself in the same spot. So here are some things that have helped me:

This article over at Like Mother Like Daughter is great inspiration and has an interesting perspective on the why behind reading the Bible. 

Get a Bible that Works for You: 
We are incredibly (INCREDIBLY) blessed to have access and financial resources to even have Scripture available to us. How many Bibles are in your home? (I have two, Zeke has one, and we have a children's Bible, too). How many do you actually use? (Zeke uses his a ton, I use only one of mine.)

The truth is, we're most likely to use a Bible that works with the way we think. I like to take lots and lots of notes, so this Bible is a great fit for me. Zeke doesn't take any notes at all, but he really likes the commentary provided in most study Bibles.

Find one that works for you. And then donate any other Bibles you own to a church, a camp, a friend, send it overseas... give the Word of God to someone who may not otherwise have access to it.

Have a Plan:
I'll be honest- there are times when I've just opened up the Bible to any old page and started reading. But for the most part, that doesn't work well. I've found that if I have a plan to follow, I'm typically more successful in following through with reading Scripture. There are tons of great plans out there. I really like Good Morning Girls.

This online Bible study has been an awesome resource for me. My small group used it for a study in Ephesians. We followed the "SOAP" plan that was developed by Good Morning Girls.

You write down a part of scripture (maybe a verse or a few verses) of the day's reading that stood out to you. I think this was the part that really made the difference for me. I tend to remember things much better when I physically write them down. Then, you note observations about the text, and applications you glean from the text to live out. Finally, you take a moment to pray about what you've read.

It's recommended that you do this with a group of gals- it helps to keep you accountable- but I went through one of the studies by myself and thought it was great, too.

Read the Bible in a Year:
Giving yourself a goal like this one can be a great motivator. There are lots of plans out there (Bible Gateway has some good ones). I like the book-by-book way of reading the Bible - it flows better in my mind rather than jumping round from Old to New Testament and from book to book.

Even while you're doing a plan like this one, it's vital to remember that you're not just reading- you're studying. Write stuff down, think about it, chew on it a little. Ask questions.

Which leads me to my next point...

Check out Commentaries
One of the best things I did in college was take a Bible class in which we were encouraged to check out commentaries and do some comparison. The Bible is an incredibly rich piece of literature (because, well, it was written by God, after all). People study it for lifetimes; it's okay to see what someone else has to say about what they see in God's Word... especially when you get to a part that makes you say, "Wha?"

(And I wrote a 15 page paper on Leviticus in that Bible class, so I did a lot of going "Wha?")

There are some cool online resources for commentaries- including YouVersion (people can add comments to a book or passage- some are really great), as well as the commentaries through Bible Study Tools. I'd also recommend checking out a library to see what they've got for commentaries.

I think it's important to get more than one point of view. Sometimes the most inspiring perspectives come from a voice that's very different from our own. I really love the Africa Bible Commentary. It was written by 70 scholars from Africa, and the worldview of these brilliant folks is often very different from the way I see things.



Those are the things that have really helped me with this particular discipline. Do you have anything to add? What helps you to stay on track with studying the Word?



This post contains affiliate links as well as web links to products that I use and have found helpful.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Currently.

This is yesterday, actually.


READING: Registration forms. Ha! Just kidding. But really. And also One Thousand Gifts, still. I re-read each and every chapter because there's just so much there. Oh, and also a really (really) bad YA book... but I'm reading it anyway because I need some entertainment.


LISTENING: to acorns dive-bombing the sidewalk.


SMELLING: the pumpkin candle on the desk next to me. It's nice.

WATCHING: Our Netflix works again (Praise WiFi), but only a little. And only before 10:15, and only if no one is using a microwave. Or thinking about microwaves. So, between long sessions of red spinny "loading" thing, we've been watching Longmire. In choppy little segments until 10:15. 

WORKING ON: Getting back into the swing of meal planning. I know- we haven't had campers around for like, a month. I've just been forcing Zeke to microwave freezer-burnt leftover hot dogs for the past month. (As long as the microwave is NOT on while I'm trying to get Netflix to work)... Ketchup is a vegetable, right?

WISHING: That I could go home now, instead of waiting for the guests to come in. But I'm happy they're coming. I just wanna go home. You know?

WEARING: Almost this exact same outfit. Minus the scarf, plus a Camp zip up. And a slightly different Camp shirt. Because that's how I roll.


WANTING: So, I've gotten back into using my little planner, right? Which is awesome. And helpful. But the trouble is, now I want a new binder. I like the one I've got, but I'd like something leather-ish. Like a Filofax or even a Daytimer or... I don't care. And I love the ones in mint green or that vintage rose color. But those are so expensive! Even the used ones are like, $70.00. Ugh. I should stop looking 'em up.

NEEDING: A little more coffee. Just a little.

FEELING: Kinda sleepy! This cold and dreary weather is to blame, I'm sure!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Seven Reasons I'm Not a Fashion Blogger. (And Why I'm Glad You Are).




I'm not a fashion blogger, obviously. Not even close. There are lots of ladies out there who write a little about fashion, but wouldn't call themselves "fashion bloggers..." I'm not one of those, either. I don't blog about fashion at all, really. And there are good reasons for it. Very, very good reasons.

~1~

How do people have those nicely blank or artsy backgrounds? Seriously. I attempted to find a single blank or artsy-cute wall anywhere in the vicinity and came up empty handed.

Ignore the light switch. And the remote holder thing.


~2~

It seriously took me five minutes just to angle the camera so I was actually in the frame, and I ended up using a tri-pod thing, two books, and an orange. And don't get me started with the original photographer I had in mind. Zeke was no help with this at all.

Taken while the camera was falling off the coffee table.

Those of you who have five-year-olds photograph you- HOW DO YOU DO IT?

~3~

My house utilizes the fluorescent lights of photography death. Took a buncha editing to remove the cringe-worthy effect I had going on.

 ~4~

The majority of my clothing is "Camp-wear"- theme t-shirts from old programs, t-shirts from camps where I no longer work, t-shirts with the Camp logo... it's like an unofficial work uniform. Of t-shirts. Including one with a Lego guy on it, another with a giant spatula, and one that says "CAMP IS GOOD."

~5~

I don't actually buy clothing often at all (partially because of #4).


~6~

And when I do buy clothing, it typically sticks around for a while.



~7~ 

And finally, I'm not a fashion blogger because... I'd much rather leave it up to all of you who do it, and can actually do it, and come up with adorable outfits that I would never have come up with on my own. Because I need the inspiration.

And also because so many of you -

I'm looking atcha, Grace and Haley and Anna and Kendra and Rosie, and this list could get very long...-

you remind me that looking nice, looking put together, is important. Even if the only people who see you today are your children. Or your husband. Or the lady with whom you share an office. It matters. And you remind me of that. (Hence the scarf in my outfit today. Ta da! So fancy.)

So, thanks.

And keep roping your seven-year-old into photographing you. =)


This post is linked to Fashion on the 15th- Hi, Anna!-and with Jen for Seven Quick Takes.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

{phfr} Random Tomatoes and A Bicycle Built for Two

{Pretty}

Last weekend, I had the privilege to go to a Women's Retreat through my church. It's just another of the ways that being involved in a church has truly helped me find community. And also, I mean, look at those views! 



{Happy}

I didn't get a picture, unfortunately, but I did get a chance to ride on a tandem bike (a bicycle built for two!) a couple of times this week. It was so much fun! Someone donated it to Camp... I hope that we'll have lots of people use it. Or maybe I'll just use it. I have a new favorite way to ride a bicycle.
 {Funny}

We stopped at the gas station for a regular old fill up the other day, and got these with the price of gas. 



I love living in a small town.
{Real}

Motor oil all over my husband. 


Well, I guess this one's another "work shirt..."

And upon seeing this picture, I'm realizing that I should cut Zeke's hair... 


Have a happy Thursday! (And how did it get to be Thursday already, anyway?)

Linked up with Like Mother Like Daughter