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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Growing by Accident

As Lent approached this year, I decided not to make it a "big thing."

Instead of giving things up or fasting on Friday like I usually do, I decided just to be instead of focusing on all the things I could do. 

I figured that Lent this year would be a nice break. No changing, no growing, no transforming...

But God had other plans, apparently. Big huge other plans.

I really feel like He decided to use this Lent to strip me down. To direct my heart to safe places. To change my attitudes and my habits.

It's been a tough couple of months for me.

But in some ways, since Lent began, I feel like an entirely different person- and isn't that such a part of the message behind Lent? The transformation, the cleaning up of our hearts and souls?

It kind of started when I realized that despite outward appearances, I wasn't trusting in God's incredible power. Not really. I was trusting in just about everything else, though. In my chart, in not drinking too much caffeine, in taking my vitamins... don't get me wrong, none of those things are bad. The problem is that by doing all these things, I thought that I was somehow in control.

That couldn't be farther from the truth.

So I stopped. I stopped charting. I stopped worrying so much about what I'm eating or drinking. I also made the decision to stop checking Facebook. I realized that I was logging in to Facebook at work when I needed a short break, and it had become a habit. I needed to refocus.

I'm still in the process of doing just that.

Of trusting God instead of trying to control my body.
Of making Him a priority.
Of spending time in the Bible.

I also ran into a couple of situations at work and at home that made me go, "Whoa. My heart is so far from where it should be right now."

God showed me that my attitude is out of whack in a lot of ways, and I started working through that.

I realized that I've been spending my time constantly looking at the horizon towards someday, but I've been neglecting the now. I've been trying to control things that I really have no say in, while simultaneously overlooking all the things that I can do to improve my attitude, my stress level, and my home.

I took a hard look at some of my daily routines and started to find joy in small habits and tasks. I'm working within my vocation as a wife and as keeper of my home, rather than fighting against it, and my home life and work life have been so much more balanced as a result.

God has directed my heart to some safe places this Lent. I've been able to accept some grace, for once, and peace came right along with it. And I've had the help of some wonderful friends, co-workers, pastors, and bloggers (bloggers bloggers bloggers!) pouring truth and light into my life. Community is a wonderful thing- online or in person.

This Lent has been a major time of growth for me, even though I didn't really intend it to be that way. God and His mysterious ways, huh? Good thing He knows what's best for me, even when I don't realize it.


Also, on a totally unrelated note, my computer (which is actually Zeke's computer, but potatoes) has suddenly and completely crashed (not my fault, I tell you! The fact that mine crashed a year ago is simple coincidence!) so I may be a little out of the loop until we fix this one or find a new one. 

Have a lovely Easter! 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


"Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, 'This man receives sinners and eats with them.' " - Luke 15:1-2
Most of us know the Parable of the Prodigal Son.

It's about a younger son, who demands his inheritance from his father (rude) and runs off, completely wasting all of it on partying. He ends up hungry and degraded, doing manual labor, feeding pigs. Finally, he decides to return home and ask his father if he can be a servant. The father runs outside when he sees his son coming and forgives him, giving him a welcome home party. If you wanna read the whole story, you can find it here.

It's a wonderful story of redemption and forgiveness.

I want to be the younger son. He's dumb and makes bad decisions, but realizes his mistakes, and comes home to be forgiven, welcomed back.

I'm definitely not the younger son, though. Yeah, I make mistakes and bad decisions, but...

I'm the older son in this story. See, while the younger son is out messing up his life, the older son is back at home, doing the "right" thing. He's responsible. He's trustworthy. He's not having any fun. And then his little brother comes home, destitute and desperate. And Dad throws a party for him! So the older son does what I would totally do. He gets peeved. Maybe a little more than peeved.

I am the older son. 

(Almost) literally and figuratively.

I have a sister who has done just about everything the "wrong" way- had a baby out of wedlock with a guy who was in jail at the time, smokes and drinks, never holds down a job, leaves her son with her friends for entire weekends while she goes to clubs and binge drinks. Of course, some of that's going to change now that she found out that she's pregnant again. I'm not sure how she plans to pay bills.... Somehow, she seems to do whatever she wants, making terrible decisions, and yet she has been blessed with children.

Deep inside my heart, I would like to stomp my feet and shout, "Not fair!" just like the older son does in this parable.


Typically, we fall into one of two camps. Either we feel that we're not good enough for grace, or that grace isn't good enough for us. I'm in the second group more often than I'd like to admit.

Like the Pharisees in Luke 15, I look at Jesus's grace and say, "Wha? He's eating with sinners!" They wanted Jesus to be one of them- someone who upheld rules and self-righteousness and laws. A responsible, trustworthy guy... he should be in my group, he should be my friend, but there he is-  hanging out with those sinners instead! 

How do I view God? Do I view him as Santa- I make a list of the things I'd like and if I'm good, I get those things? Do I see Him as a GPS- there to give direction, but sometimes I know a better route, so I turn Him off? What is my relationship with my heavenly Father?

See, the older son was just as far from his father as the younger son was.

There are two ways to be lost: 

Running from God


Trusting in our own righteousness

The older son is doing all the right things, but his heart is in the wrong place. He isn't following the rules out of love, but for an ulterior motive. He's doing good enough, but doesn't have a true relationship with his father. The older son doesn't know how to respond to the grace and forgiveness that his father is showing the younger son.

Is that how I'm living? Am I apart from grace and forgiveness- not because God hasn't given it, but because I feel that I'm too good to accept it?

Am I trying so hard to be like God that I don't think I need grace?

(Let that sink in a minute. Does it hit you between the collar bones? It does for me.)

No one is too far gone for God's grace and no one is without need of God's grace.

This parable is most often called the Parable of the Prodigal Son. "Prodigal" means wastefully extravagant- and that certainly describes the younger son in this story. But really, we could also use the word "prodigal" to describe the father in the story- he is extravagant in his forgiveness of his son, sparing no expense to celebrate his return.

And oh, we have such a prodigal God- He is so extravagant in His grace for us!

This post is linked with Amateur Nester's Tuesday Infertility Link-up.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rethink Date Night: Dinner and A Movie is a Lame Date and Fifteen Things to Do Instead

If I could give one piece of advice to couples- whether they're dating or engaged or married- on how to encourage deeper connections with one another, it would be this:

Rethink Date Night. 

We have several married friends who have made it a priority in their marriages to spend time dating one another. That's a great thing to do, for sure! But here's the thing... when I ask what they're planning on doing, the answer always seems the same- "Dinner and a Movie."

The same thing is true for my sister and her boyfriend of three years- they're going out on a Friday night? What are they doing? You guessed it! "Dinner and a Movie."

Now, I don't think there's anything wrong with going out for the good old D&M combo, but it's not really the best way to grow as a couple. There's no real experience to it.

If Zeke and I go out for dinner and a movie, a year from now, I may remember parts of the movie (unless I fell asleep during it... which is pretty likely...) or maybe some of our dinner conversation, but it won't be a date I'll clearly remember. I most likely won't learn anything about myself or about my husband.

It comes down to this- why do we do date nights? Are we just checking it off our to-do lists, or does date night actually have a purpose? For us, that purpose is to connect and grow as a couple. Watching a movie together doesn't really help us to do that. In short, dinner and a movie is really kind of lame.

Why not try something a little more... adventurous? Have an experience, not just a date.

1) Go for a walk or a bike ride or attempt to roller blade together (carefully.)

2) Drive out to a lake and go fishing (or kayaking or canoeing).

3) Learn something together- like a language or kickboxing or how to reupholster or ballroom dancing or flower arranging or fencing!

4) Go check out garage sales or thrift stores- cheap and interesting

5) Plan a road trip- figure out places you'd like to stop along the way, the things you'd like to see. Then actually do it!

6) Cook together, or try something completely new in the kitchen (The other day, Zeke bought a jerky shooter online... we broke out the dehydrator and learned how to make jerky!)

7) Do one of those guided painting classes

8) Make a list of places around your town that you'd like to visit (ours includes a Frisbee golf course and a tiny museum dedicated to... trains, I think?)

9) Visit a random town (we went on a weekend trip to Milwaukee)

10) Go swimming- even if it's winter. Go to the gym, or check out local hotels- lots of them will let you use the pool for cheap

11) Check out open house listings around your area and go dream about your future while checking out other people's houses

12) Play cards or get a group of friends together to play games

13) Go camping- even for just one night- and make s'mores. Because s'mores are always good. Or heck, just make s'mores in your backyard.

14) Have a stay-cation- check in to a hotel nearby (or just turn your house into a "hotel," or just don't worry about laundry and housework for a weekend) and spend a weekend pretending to be tourists

15) Farmers Markets! Get some sunshine, do a little walking, and pick up some sugar snap peas.

Of course, sometimes you're just gonna want to do dinner and a movie. And that's okay- we just need to remember to make some memories, too!

Linked up with Marriage Monday, MMandM, Titus 2 Tuesday, Wise Woman, and Wedded Wednesday.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

An Afternoon By the Lake {phfr}


So, yesterday, Zeke had this sudden urge to do something he called, "Get the dock support beam out of the lake." I call it, "Mess around in the lake while wearing waders."

To be sure, there was actually a support beam in the lake. This one:

And it was a lovely day, so I went along. The ice is melting! 


And he didn't even make me get into the water. Sweet guy. Pretty soon, the clogs will be replaced with sandals and painted toenails, and the jeans will be replaced with a flowy summer skirt. But for now, I'm just happy to sit on the not-currently-in-the-water dock.

This guy. He makes me happy. (This picture was taken like, fifteen minutes after the support beam was sitting next to me on the dock. See, I told you he was messing around.)


This goose couple was not pleased that Zeke was interrupting their romantic evening and kept honking. Loudly. So loudly that they disturbed a pair of ducks that flew away, quacking in obvious scorn.

{Real, and also pretty Funny} 

So, in interest of transparency and also of embarrassing my husband... 

That is a vice grip, holding his waders together. Because the zipper is broken and obviously. Obviously a vice grip. This man and his creative problem solving... it keeps me on my toes.

Linking up today with Like Mother, Like Daughter. And I think I got 'em in the right order this time. Adrie for the win.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

His Incomparably Great Power for Us Who Believe {Ephesians 1:18}

I pray also that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." -Ephesians 1:18

In Ephesians 1, Paul tells the church in Ephesus that he's praying for them- specifically that he's praying that they may know the hope to which they've been called, His glorious inheritance in the saints, and finally, that they would know God's incomparably great power for those who believe.

I tend to think of God's power as, well, just nice. Yes, God has power. I kind of take it for granted. I read the word "power" in scripture and just leave it at that.

But when I really think about examples of God's incomparably great power...

Creation- in all it's wonders and intricacies, systems all working together

The Incarnation- Christ as fully God and fully man, born to a virigin

The Resurrection-taking a lifeless, decomposing body and from it, life again

Not to mention all of the miracles in the Old Testament (the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, the walls of Jericho) as well as in the New Testament (sight to the blind, healing, feeding the five thousand, water to wine, calming the storms, walking on water).

That power is for us who believe. 

Why would Paul think this is an important thing to pray the Ephesians would understand?

He wanted the church to know the future we have through Christ, and he wanted us to know that we have incredible value to God...

... and here he's saying, "God's got this."

The same power that rose Christ from the dead is for us who believe. What do we have to worry about?  I get all stressed out about maybe buying a house someday or what I'm going to do with my life or what is wrong with my body... and God's resurrection power is right here in my life. Right here, for me.

How amazing!

As I wrap up this little mini-study on Ephesians 1:18, I want to just pray this for you, whoever you are. If you stumbled upon this post somehow or if you've commented here before or if you've been a follower from the very beginning (and if you're one of the last types, thanks for sticking with me...)- this prayer is for you today.

Oh God. Oh, oh, God. Thank you. Thank You so very much for sending Your Son to die to take away my sin. I don't understand that kind of love, and I don't think I ever will, but help me to get there. God, I pray today for anyone reading this. You know right where they are and exactly what they're going through. Be with them, comfort them, and encourage them. God, I pray that You work out Your plan for them. I pray that You would enlighten them; open the eyes of their heart that they would see the hope to which You called them- the amazing hope we have only through Your salvation. I pray that they would see their incredible value in Your eyes- help them to see themselves the way You see them. And I pray that they would know Your power- that they would see Your power in their life today. You've got this, God. We trust in You always. In the name of Christ I pray, Amen. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Most Searched Items and Aquatic Turtle Tank Tips

Blogger has this fun feature (does every blog-hosting doo-hickey have this feature? I dunno) that allows you to see search items that brought people to your blog. Some of them are really funny.

In honor of that fun feature, I give you... the 10 most searched items that led people to my blog.

10) Aquatic turtle not happy with new tank (with 4)- I write a lot about Tucker's crabby little self and have gotten lots of hits on my post about how to clean a turtle tank.

*Tangent* Just for the record, humans of unhappy turtles (because I've been there, oh, I've been there)- aquatic turtles are rarely happy with new tanks. Seriously. When we moved Tuck into his new big huge tank with lots of fun fish to chase, he anchored himself to the bottom for about three days, only coming up occasionally to breathe. Turtles are like... well, they're like me- they don't like change.

Make sure your turtle has a ten gallons of water for every two inches of shell length (the experts say ten gallons for every inch, but that's a lot of water), a place to come out of the water and bask, a heating lamp, and plenty of places to hide (like tank decorations or big rocks or plants). Then let your turtle baby sit and sulk for a couple of days- he'll get acclimated. He may not come out of the water while you're around for the first couple of weeks, but just know that behind that gloomy-gus face of his, he's really doing just fine. *End tangent*
So over-dramatic

9) The best bouquet (with 8)- Apparently my coffee-filter bouquet is the best? Well, thank you, random searchers, I'm flattered!

8) Joan Bars (with 10)- Lack of a flattering picture aside, I'm surprised more people haven't found this post. Because the recipe is just that stinking delicious. And terrible for the waistline. Bad Joan.

7) The future and that hopefully (with 11)- I... I just don't even know. I even Googled this and went through the first five pages (before I got bored) and nothing even remotely related to my blog. Fascinating.

6) Slow cooker cinnamon rolls (with 12)- Oh, I'm sorry, everyone looking for delicious treats. I totally botched that recipe. Burned to a yucky, charcoal-tasting crisp. Hopefully they found a better example somewhere!

Mmm. Yummy.... ?

5) Rubber seal (with 13)- I wrote a post about how Zeke comes home with pockets full of rubber seals and the joys of being married to a maintenance guy. Probably not what these folks were looking for.

4) Crock pot cinnamon rolls (with 42!)- Same thing as #7. Sorry, O seeker of breakfast pastries.

3) Ribbon wedding program (with 44)- I used ribbons on my wedding programs. And made them myself. And it was kind of a pain, but they were inexpensive and turned out great!

2) Motorcycle get away bride (with 45)- Oh yeah, we did that, too. Note to the wise- make sure your giant poofy dress doesn't touch the hot pipes. That could be bad.

I'm the motorcycle get away bride!

1) I do not have gonorrhea  (with 58)- This one is for a post (one I actually took down because it was so popular, and that was creeping me out) about how I went to the doctor with an infection in my thumb. And then about how, without asking me if I was even sexually active, the doctor told me I needed to get tested for gonorrhea. Something about infections in joints and how gonorrhea causes that. I had to convince the doctor that I was a virgin and not an intravenous drug user. It was a good time. I bet you feel very sad that I took that one down.

What have your funniest search items been?

Friday, April 4, 2014

I'm Adrie, and I Tag Along

I'm linking up with Kendra today! And also because it's "my brain is fried" Friday... so I'm tagging along. Such a follower. 


1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?

Gooood question. We live at Camp. I talk about it a lot. Today it looks like this around here...

... which makes me regret the fact that we didn't move to, say, Florida.

But truly, (despite the snow) we're so blessed to be here. We live right on site, so rent is included in our salaries, and the commute is an entire 50 steps from my front door to my office.

Zeke started this job almost two years ago now. After his first week, we were talking about how it all was going (we weren't quiiiiite married yet), and he told me what a typical day looked like. He started with, "Well, at 8:30, we have staff prayer..." and I was like, "You pray together every day?" and he said, "Yep."

And it was then that I knew this was the place for us. That, and he got to work with Dennis.

2. What's are you currently watching and/or reading?

I've been reading "The Power of a Praying Wife," by Stormie O'Martin (seriously, I think Stormie is the best name), and books about Amish people by Beverly Lewis. I can't remember which one I'm reading right now... but they have such a peaceful tone to them that they're perfect "before bed" books.

3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?)

I am not Catholic. We currently attend a church (Evangelical Free denomination) that is a wonderful fit for us. I love Catholics, though, and I love the Theology of the Body...  
4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)

Yeah, like I said- the Theology of the Body and openness to life. NFP has made such a difference in our marriage and faith lives, even though no children have come along yet. And also- Catholic bloggers are really pretty awesome. =)

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Um. Like, 15? But I only wear about 5 pairs regularly- the rest are just hanging around making my entryway closet overfull. I get emotionally attached to shoes, and have trouble getting rid of them even when I don't wear them anymore. <Sigh>  

6. Are you a good dancer?

I like to think I am.... but not really, no. Doesn't stop me, though!  

7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?

The hubs. I get nervous driving when he's in the car, especially since we got one that's a stick shift! Yes, we're still at that point in our marriage. He's been driving since he was little (seriously, very, very little) and I didn't get my license until I was 17.  

8. What's your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?

Mmm, tough one. I love Christmas, but I like birthdays better. Does that count? We usually do very simple stuff for birthdays, but I really like making someone's day as special as possible. Zeke didn't really celebrate birthdays in his family, so I like coming up with really cheesy plans for his birthday. Party hats and all.  

9. Which is correct? Left or right?

Oh my goodness, left. In fact, the picture on the right is bugging me.  

10. Do you have any scars?

Yep. Nothing too cool or interesting, really... a couple of scars from getting moles removed, and then one on the bridge of my nose. 

There's a story behind that one.

You know those large, industrial ice makers? 

Like this one?

The silver door in the front lifts up, and you kind of prop the door against the top part so it says open so you can scoop ice out.

Yeah. Okay. So, about two months before my wedding, was working at a Camp (not this one, the camp we worked at before this...) as a retreat host, and I was getting ice water ready to set on the tables for lunch. I was in a hurry because I was running late. 

I propped up the door and bent over the ice maker to scoop out some ice, and the big heavy door fell down. And smashed me in the nose. 

Joan, the cook at the camp, was standing with her back to me, like 5 feet away, if that. She is nearly deaf, and she didn't hear a thing. 

I went to the bathroom because I started bleeding everywhere, and got super upset because, geez, that hurt, and because I was getting married in two months and was going to have a scar! I put a bandaid on it and got back to work. Zeke showed up for lunch shortly after that, saw the bandaid, and asked me what happened. I burst into tears in front of an entire group of retreat guests. 

Let me tell you, it wasn't the last time I've burst into tears while Zeke looks at me all confused.

I didn't need stitches, but it had to be glued together. I told everyone that I was attacked by a panther. 

You can't really see the scar in the wedding pictures, but it's there.   

11. What's the most famous thing you've ever done? 

The most famous... hmm. I was in a couple of plays! And one musical- and I even had a solo! But that was about it. I'm a "behind the scenes" kind of gal, truly.

I'm sure that your Friday has been enlightened by learning these 11 things about me (ha). Now, get thee to the link up and see everyone else's much more interesting Things!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Peace- First Floor Edition {pfhr}

I.Love.Our.House. And a fun thing about living at Camp? Our home has a name. Peace. My home is called Peace. I posted some pictures of the second floor, but we really spend more time on the first floor.


Doubly pretty here. I love the pretty wood that's all over the downstairs living room. And! This is my favorite of all of Zeke's grandma's paintings- originally, it was hanging in his bedroom in his folks' house, and I told him that I really loved it (even before we got married).

I don't know why I love this trunk so much, but I do. I keep blankets and Zeke's many, many electronic massage implements in here. And no, I don't know what the 7-9 means.



So, sometimes Camp asks Zeke to get rid of old, broken, orange pleather futons. And sometimes, Zeke decides to fix it and bring it home because it obviously belongs in our house. In all it's orange pleather goodness. Then, when he finds matching pleather chairs that someone is trying to get rid of at a garage sale... well, we obviously had to have them.


This is my second kitchen. My Italian grandmother would be proud. Peace has been used by more than one group- one family stays upstairs, one stays downstairs- although Peace hasn't been used by camper groups in about 10 years and we've used it for staff housing instead. We use the downstairs kitchen for a snack bar, mostly- popcorn, pop... you get the idea.

The downstairs bathroom is bright teal, and has a bathtub. I love bathtubs. And, as an added bonus, Zeke has recently discovered that he can rig up a series of mirrors so I can see the TV while I'm in the tub. Taaa daaaa!


Super real, guys. We're tearing apart one of the two downstairs bedrooms. It was a project I started-- all I wanted to do was paint it! How was I to know that the wallpaper was directly on top of particle board that was warped and needed to be replaced? It's a much bigger project than I was anticipating, to say the least. So now, the other bedroom is being used as major storage... apparently also for a snowboard, teddy bears, helmets, and random quarts of oil. 

We are blessed!

Edited to Include: Soo... I forgot to tell you that I'm linking up today with Like Mother, Like Daughter! And, because my head's apparently not screwed on straight, it's supposed to be Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real. Well, it's reasonably correct, right? = )

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Riches of His Glorious Inheritance in the Saints {Ephesians 1:18}

I pray also that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." -Ephesians 1:18

Have you ever had one of those days? I have them pretty often, really- days when I feel insignificant. Days when I feel insecure, unworthy, like a walking failure. I hear the lie that hits me hardest- "You're not good enough." And man, sometimes that lie feels so close to the truth.

-          -         -

In Ephesians 1, Paul tells the church in Ephesus that he's praying for them- and praying for some very specific things. I think that these things are important for us to pray over our own lives and the lives of those around us. First, Paul prays that they would know the hope to which God has called them. Next, that they would know the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.

Which, to me, sounds like a bunch of nice flowery words.

Let's break it down.

We've been promised every spiritual blessing, and we have also been promised a future in eternity with Christ. But that's not what this verse is about. This verse isn't talking about my riches or my inheritance. 

Honestly, that's the first place my mind went. Because really, I'm selfish and I would like all the verses to be about me.

But really, this part of the verse is about God's inheritance. 

It's a weird thing to think about. God made all the things, so He gave an inheritance to... well, Himself. Which is kinda hard to understand. But stick with me here.

What do we know about worldly inheritances? 

Inheritances are usually pre-planned (in a will, for example). An inheritance is completely unearned- it's more like a gift. Those who receive an inheritance have a relationship with the giver.

And typically, an inheritance is gained through death.

A worldly inheritance is often money, something significant (we inherited paintings Zeke's grandma made, for example), or property. God's inheritance is different.

God's inheritance is us.

"God's glorious inheritance in the saints." The saints- that's us. His Church, His chosen people, the ones He's adopted into His family. As a believer in Christ, we are God's glorious inheritance. Us. 

How incredibly humbling and overwhelming.

Paul wants the church in Ephesus to know that as believers in Christ, we are pre-planned, that we're in relationship with God, that we are gained through the holy, sacrificial death of Christ. And we did nothing to earn it. We don't deserve it. I don't deserve it.

God speaks these truths into my life in His word:

I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14) for God's glory (Isaiah 13:6-7).  

I am God's handiwork, and I'm significant to Him (Ephesians 2:10).  

I was chosen, according to His pleasure and glory (Ephesians 1:4-5).

I am holy and blameless, through nothing that I earned or accomplished (Ephesians 1:4).

I am righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21) and am not condemned (Romans 8:1).

I am worth dying for (John 3:16 and Hebrews 12:2).

I am a great delight to Him (Zephaniah 3:17 and Isaiah 62:3).

What Paul is saying here is that he's praying that the church in Ephesus (and all believers, truly) would have our eyes opened to our incredible value to God.

We didn't earn it, we don't deserve it, but there it is. God thinks I have value, even when I don't. Even when I screw up, even when I fail, even when I doubt my own worth. And I do that a lot.

That lie I hear? The one that tells me I'm not good enough?

It hits me so hard because there's a hint of truth in it. On my own, I'm not good enough. I never could possibly be good enough. I'm human and fallen and sinful. I cave to temptations. I let my temper get the best of me.

But God loves me so much that He sent His Son to die for me. To die. For me. So it's not about me any more. I have worth because God says I do.

I am good enough, because Christ is enough, and he lives in me.

May our eyes be opened to that- we are of incredible worth to the One who made us, to the One who loves us more than we can understand.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ten Minute Tuesday: Disinfect those Garbage Cans

Garbage cans. We know they're dirty, germ-y pits of nastiness. We definitely wouldn't lick them, not even on a dare, but how often do we actually clean them?

Today's Ten Minute Tuesday challenge is to disinfect your garbage cans!

We have four garbage cans in our home- the big kitchen one, two in our bedroom, and one in the bathroom.

Your first step will be to grab your cans and get them in the same room. It makes this process a little easier- might as well get them all done at once! If you have a larger home with more garbage cans, you may want to start with the more "popular" ones- kitchens and bathrooms.

First, take out the garbage.

 If you're anything like me, the bottom of your cans looks like this. Spilled coffee grounds, a random tissue... you'll want to get this out of there, too. I usually flip the can upside down over a garbage bag to get the loose stuff out, and then use a wet paper towel to get the more stuck-on stuff.

 Next, take a rag and some hot, soapy water and wipe down the outside of your garbage cans. Make sure to get the backside and under any ridges.

Next, use hot soapy water to wash the inside of the garbage cans. Make sure you get into the corners!

And don't forget any lids! If your garbage can has a lid, that's the part you touch the most! Make sure to spend a little extra time on these!

Use another cloth and some clean water to rinse the extra soap off of your cans, then let them dry for a little while (2 minutes will do).

Finally, use a disinfectant spray on the inside and outside of your garbage can. I used Lysol because that's what I have around (I'm using it up!) but you can also use a mixture of bleach and water, or if you prefer a more natural approach, vinegar and water works great, too. I also like to use my orange peel cleaner- I mix it 1:1 with water and put it in a spray bottle. It smells great! Again, don't forget to spray any garbage can lids you may use.

Repeat these steps on all of your household garbage cans, wait about a minute, and then re-line them.

I usually do this whenever I think of it, which is usually about four times a year, and this is also great way to stop the spread of germs if someone has been sick. I do wipe down the outsides and lids of my garbage cans almost weekly, as well.

And voila! Another step in the quest for a happy, healthy household!

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