Yesterday I couldn’t decide if I should go back and try to get missing assignments done or keep going.  I read the days assignment and felt God telling me to do today’s and catch up when I can.  How do I know it was from God?  Because it was hard for me to do it.

The assignment was to have a warm greeting in the morning.  How hard is that?  Well considering my oldest went to bed without even saying goodnight and my little one refuses to use the toilet (this is not a standard bed wetting issue).  I knew that I could get up and greet but do it warmly???

I really tried and it is amazing how much that effort really pays off.  At least for a little while.  My oldest is really struggling in his pre-teen years and is easily set off lately.  I helped him with his math and we were doing great and then he hit a roadblock and that was it for much of the day.  For awhile I was really struggling with my frustration level but God’s peace came over and we just went about our day no matter what he was doing.

My little one seemed to respond with a better gretting.  He is so closed off with his thoughts that you never know.  He is a serious people watcher and doesn’t share much.  I do try to encourage him as he has so many burdens (you can see from his actions) but he isn’t ready. 

Today I am to do a random act for both of them.  I usually make them fold their own laundry because of how they treat it after I fold it, but I did theirs today.  I don’t think they much notice but it changes my heart to do something unexpected with agape love.

Have a “Unconditional Loved” Day!

Do you have one of those days where only comfort food will do?  You need to check out Nanas Comfort Foods over at ETSY: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6150180

nanascomfortfoods’s Profile
Bio
I retired from my day job for many reasons, but one reason was to spend more time with my grandchildren. I began to stir up spices to create great tasting dips. Many times my grandchildren, Alexsis, Drew and Ashtyn were in the kitchen with me when I conducted my experiments, so I thought it was perfect to name my business Nana’s Comfort Foods!!! I have had great success at craft fairs for the past year and in May branched out to become licenced by the State to sell in retail businesses.

So the winner of my contest will get a dip mix from Nana along with all the prizes for this week.  YUMMY!

 Garlic Lover's Ranch Dip/ Dressing Mix

To win:

You will need to answer the question in the comments and post/link my contest on your blogPlease leave me your link that directly shows the post/link for my contest on your blog.  And remember there is only one entry per day.

Question for Week 1 – Tell me something that you do/done, individually or as a family, that really shows it is better to give than to receive.  Do you give food to the food bank every month?  Have you adopted a “grandma or grandpa”?  Tell me about it.

Here are the prizes so far for this week:

The One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple Cover      Itty Bitty NoteBooks (Pack 2)

Reusable Amy Butler Temple Garland Fabric Grocery bag         Pink and White Floral Key Fob

Flower Velour Hairband     Garlic Lover's Ranch Dip/ Dressing Mix

How about that?  Can you believe it?  And there is more to come.  Blessed winner if you ask me!!!!!

Have a “Diplishous” Day!

CONTEST INFO***(added 11/16) This contest started on November 1st so you will have to go to my home page for this weeks question.  Please go to my home page to see where the contest is at as this is a month long contest with weekly drawings.  Just click on Real World Martha at the top or home.*******

Today I am starting my month long contest “TIS BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE”. 

This month is my birthday month, Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas season (after Thanksgiving, k?).  What better way to celebrate this wonderful month by focusing on others.  And that will be the way to win as well.

These are not daily prizes but a weekly giveaway.  That’s right, you will win the entire weeks prizes that have been featured!  Isn’t that AWESOME?

To enter this weeks prizes you must answer the question in the comments and leave a link about the contest on your blog.

This weeks question: Question for Week 1 – Tell me something that you do/done, individually or as a family, that really shows it is better to give than to receive.  Do you give food to the food bank every month?  Have you adopted a “grandma or grandpa”?  Tell me about it.

And remember only one entry a day!

Prize 1 /Week 1

Here’s just one of the prizes for this week from Julesmaeclothing

Flower Velour Headband 

Flower Velour Hairband

 “Made from a brown vintage men’s necktie overlaid with a soft green velvety ribbon. Hand embroidered details include floral embellishments and edge stitching in a salmon pink. Lined with a soft pink floral print cotton. Guaranteed a one of a kind Jules Mae Original.”

Isn’t that the cutest thing?

About Jules:
I’m just a girl who grew up in the sleepy countryside just outside of Vancouver, BC

I studied Fine Arts in Halifax, and there I discovered my love of embroidery. There seemed something so beautiful to me about this painstaking process of committing a design to a surface. My plight was to “draw quickly” with this slow process as though I were jotting down quick sketches or “memo notes”. On my daily transit to and from school I would sit and embroider on carefully chosen rescued fabrics. I still have those projects tucked away and they inspire me forward.

I’ve sewn for as long as I can remember, or at least as long as my mother would let me have-at her sewing machine. She instilled in me such a respect for the female form and how it is expressed in garments. She was an amazing woman, and is dearly missed. Now I’ve had to grow up into my own right as a dressmaker. To be honest, I wish she was around for consultation!

Fashion is about the ego. I made a decision a while back that this venture can’t be about ego, not in it’s vision, anyway. (We all know ego is difficult to evade.) There is no point in me chasing this dream if it’s only about ego. My commitment is to finding eco-friendly and socially responsible ways to get involved in making a difference in both local and international communities; in people’s lives. It’s a lofty goal, but a worthy one. I’m still working out all the logistics, and if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear from you at julie(at)julesmae(dot)com.

Here is all her info:

www.julesmae.com

and her ETSY Shop

http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5252543

Be sure to check out all her fun stuff and don’t forget to leave your comment for a chance to win this adorable headband.

Have a “Cute” Day!

Did you know May is National Foster Care Awareness Month?

This is important to me as my youngest son is adopted and went through Foster Care.  He had some terrific people who helped him through!!!!

“May is National Foster Care Month – a time to make a lasting difference in a child’s life. There are 513,000 American youth in foster care. No matter how much time you have to give, you can do something positive that will “change a lifetime” for a young person in foster care. For more information on how you can help, please visit www.fostercaremonth.org today.”

Helping children in this capacity may not be for everyone but it is for some.  And maybe that’s you.

Have a “Loving” Day!

No, you are not getting rid of me that easily.  I just have five more posts until my A-Z tips are done and my contest is over.  If you are new to my blog I am having a series of posts that are tips from A-Z.  If you link any of these tips on your blog, and let me know, I will enter you in my contest.  Check it out:

https://realworldmartha.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/wanna-know-what-you-are-playing-for/

Today’s tip is V for Volunteer

I just got an email from my brother talking about how my niece (and happens to be named Virginia -coincidence I don’t think so!), who is 17, is taking her first mission trip to Mexico.  I am so proud of her.  I think she will be going to another country so full of amazing culture but will also learn about the extreme poverty that exists in other parts of the world.  She is already a beautiful child of God, and I think this experience will just bring her closer to God.

So today my tip is talk with your family, and pray, about a possible mission trip.  If your children are too young to go abroad, find something locally.  You can try your local church for ideas.  Here is some websites as well:

www.familycares.org

Action Without Borders www.idealist.org/kt

Habitat for Humanity www.habitat.org

Food for the Hungry (offers mission trips) http://www.fh.org/

Weekend Missions www.weekendmissions.com

www.volunteerfamily.org

Have a “Helping” Day!

WOW!  Get a tissue for this one…..
3 – Third Important Lesson – Be careful not to Judge too quickly!

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less,
a 10-year-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and
sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in
front of him.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.

“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled is hand out of his pocket and
studied the coins in it.

“Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?” he inquired.

By now more people were waiting for a table and the
waitress was growing impatient.

“Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.

The little boy again counted his coins.

Go to fullsize image“I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on
the table and walked away The boy finished the ice
cream, paid the cashier and left. When the waitress
came back, she began to cry as she wiped down the
table. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish,
were two nickels and five pennies..

You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he had
to have enough left to leave her a tip.

                       Go to fullsize image

(Author – Unknown)

Acts 20:35 (New International Version)

New International Version(NIV)35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’  

Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society 

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of Oolong tea…You will never look at a cup of Oolong the same way again.
               Go to fullsize image     

A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed Oolong tea. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.

Then she ladled the Oolong out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me what you see.”

“Carrots, eggs, and Oolong tea,” she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots.  She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it.  After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.

Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the Oolong. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently.  The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting.  However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.  The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The Oolong tea was unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water’s color and taste.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a Oolong tea?

Think of this: Which am I?  Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?  Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff?   Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?

Or am I like the Oolong tea? The tea actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the tea, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or Oolong tea?

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.  The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can’t go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.

Live your life so at the end, you’re the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

May we all be OOLONG TEA  !!!!!!!!!

(Author unknown)