A Joyful Start to Your Morning

8
Dec
2016

A Joyful Start to Your Morning

Now that winter is upon us, it certainly takes a bit more energy and coaxing to get out of a nice, cozy warm bed and begin our day. What helps you get your morning mood going in a positive direction? I have several must have’s for my mornings. I’ve shared my morning devotional time reading and about having a morning routine, but I have not really shared with you my secret – really yummy coffee!

Coffee.

I am quite the coffee snob for sure. You can ask any of my family members – they will tell you! I am picky about my coffee.  

There are a few things in life that matter a lot to me, and coffee is one of those things I put in my top ten. I love good, strong, dark coffee – with a little raw milk and ground cinnamon on top. It is perfection. Just for good measure, a few of the other things that matter to me in life are Jesus, my family and friends, my husband, the beach, my essential oils and supplements, worship music, and a nice glass of wine!

I love coffee so much that I am (almost) embarrassed to admit that in our house we have five coffee brewing devices. Um. Yes, we do. We are prepared for large crowds, fast brewing, and those with particular coffee desires – I mean, I can relate!

Morning Coffee

My favorite way to start my day right now is with a strong cup of espresso with some warm raw milk and a dash of ground cinnamon. Since giving up sugar in my coffee, I have been so intrigued with really tasting the marvelous flavors of different beans and the results when they are roasted.   

I had the pleasure to collaborate with Gourmesso and have been experimenting with some new coffee blends and let me say – I am in heaven! Gourmesso has convenient Nespresso compatible pods that come in 25 different varieties and they are mostly Fair Trade certified. There are many that fit my realm of strong, dark roasts, but I found two that were particularly fabulous.

Since I really enjoy a rich, deep roast, the House Blend Lungo is my go-to coffee first thing in the morning. It has a slightly nutty flavor and is full-bodied, incredibly rich and perfect with a velvety crema. It’s delightful!  

My other go-to is the Honduras Pura Forte. It consists of different roasts of 100% arabica beans. The beans are grown and harvested according to purely ecological guidelines. I love when a company really takes an interest in using sustainable farming practices that benefit the environment.

There is a benefit of enjoying the simple things in life. For me, coffee is a simple pleasure. It creates good memories, can reunite friends, creates warmth in a home, and facilitates good conversation. Finding a simple pleasure to begin your day and bring joy in the morning is very calming to your soul. These are the things that matter.

Since our move in September, I have taken inventory of what really matters and how I can find joy in the small things.  

Beach Walk in Seabrook

A walk on the beach out on a crisp cool morning is finished nicely when I return home to brew a cup of rich coffee. I love brewing coffee at home and having it taste better than what I can buy when I am out at a local coffee shop.  

Do you have a ritual or part of your morning routine that helps get your day started off in a joyful way? I’d love to hear about it.

I received complimentary coffee pods in exchange for my review and article. All opinions are my own and unbiased.

Tips for Nurturing Your Marriage

12
Feb
2015

Closeup image barefoot couple legs at the beach

As I sit down to write this article on the importance of nurturing your marriage, I realize that it is likely more for me than perhaps you.  

I feel very convicted that I have not been making my marriage a higher priority.  It is like I know the why behind the importance, but the actual actions take time and energy, which as busy moms, are often lacking in our days.   With the scare my husband had with his appendix on Monday and the rush to surgery, I was really struck with how life can change in a matter of seconds.

The reality is, finding time to honor our husbands and share intimacy is extremely important in keeping our marriage a priority.   We can easily start to feel like roommates living under one roof with one goal in mind if we do not take the time to make our spouse feel special.

I am reminded of a very key point made by author Devi Titus in her book,  “The Home Experience” when she talks about honoring your husband:

Wives often mistakenly give to their husbands what they need rather than what he needs.  The Four B’s that husbands need:

Backed  (support, uplift, and encourage)

Bedded  (offer affection and sexual intimacy)

Boarded  (provide meals and a comfortable home)

Babied  (care for him when he is sick or feeling down)”

For those husbands who might be reading, she goes on to say what wives need:

“Loved  (both in words and actions)

Lead  (through kind direction and example)

Lifted Up  (encouraged, romanced, made to feel special)

Listened to  (without trying to solve all her problems)

Don’t you agree?

For me, as a wife, is seems rather simple.  If I can cover each of these areas in a day, then I would say that is a step in the right direction.   So what could that look like, without becoming overwhelmed with adding another “item” on my to-do list, let’s come up with some simple ways to incorporate fresh perspective our on spouses and creating that special connection that comes from dating.

Backed

Pray for your husband, ask him what you can pray for him in particular that day.  Find a minute to give him encouragement and praise for an area that you especially appreciate about him.  If he is having a rough day, take the time to encourage him with your words.

Bedded

Finding time to be intimate can be tricky, especially for those of us with young children, but this just gives you more of a challenge to overcome.  I totally get it, by evening I am exhausted and I have learned it is best to give my hubby a time frame – if we are to become intimate it needs to begin before a certain time.  That may seem not very romantic, but open communication is important in a home with kids coming and going, a toddler and a husband that works out of town!

But being bedded does not always mean having to have sex, it also includes affection by hand holding, hugging, caressing and being close.  Sitting together holding hands can often be just as special.  It takes intentional actions.

Boarded

Taking the time to create a nice atmosphere for my husband to arrive home to after being gone traveling is a huge blessing to him.  It is one way I can ‘date’ him in our own home.  We don’t have to go anywhere, but when I have the house picked up, candles burning or a nice meal on the stove, he is happy.  He knows I’ve been thinking of him – especially if it is a pie baking in the oven!  Fixing his favorite foods is an easy way to show him I care and am purposeful in serving him.

Babied

This one can be tricky if you have a man who declines help – but insist anyhow.  When they’ve had a rough day or are not feeling well,  be intentional to do something that will encourage him and make him feel better.  Maybe it is a cup of tea, a cold drink, a warm cookie or even letting him crawl back into bed to get some more sleep.  You know your spouse best, so think of those things in advance; those things that you know he would appreciate and finding comforting when he is a bit under the weather or feeling down.

It can be easy to procrastinate and always put off caring for your spouse.  We have our kids calling us all day and we tend to prioritize their needs above our spouses, because they are little, but our spouses our just as important and our relationship needs to be tended to and nurtured.

Just in time for Valentine’s day – a reminder for all year though!

Information Overload and Anxiety

23
Oct
2013

Young woman reading bible by stream in summer

Before I get to the study today, I wanted to share about the “Getting Real – Conversations that Spark Change” Conference calls which are an optional supplement to this study.

When I was outlining this study and praying about what it would look like, I thought it would be really fun to have some “contact” with you all in a different way than just blog comments and Facebook posts.  I knew how much I enjoyed conference calls, especially when I can listen later as I take a run or pick up kids from school in the car – they are just another format to let information sink in and glean from experts.  So I gathered a group of wonderful ladies who I know you will enjoy listening to share their tips and strategies on being organized, creating a peaceful home and getting rid of the clutter.

So, without further ado, here is our line up!

I am so thrilled to offer these calls – they are going to be so fun!  To find out more details on all the calls you can click over to the “Getting Real – Conversations that Spark Change” Conference call page – you will be able to purchase there as well, these calls are $7 – yes, you get all 4 call access for only $7 – but it gets better.  

Getting-Real-Conversations-Spark-Change

As a special kick off, if you purchase by Thursday, October 24th at midnight, you can get $2 off by using the code early at checkout and access will only cost you $5!

For more information, go ahead and check out the page and then come back over for the information on today’s study!

Chapter Two:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“Identifying what is the most important piece of information at any given time is actually a skill you can learn.  It involves dismissing the unimportant (at the moment) and narrowing your focus to what is the most critical.”

“Many women stumble over the answer to this question:  What are the top priorities in my life?”

“As purposeful women, our priorities should determine our activities.  However, in our busy lives, the opposite happens:  our priorities are determined by our activities.  When we live an activity-driven life, we are never quote sure what’s more important.  When that happens consistently over time, a low level of anxiety settles in.” [Read more…]

Welcome to the New Reality

22
Oct
2013

Chapter One

A few sentences that stood out to me from Chapter 1:

…”but those sparkling “somethings,” when combined, would suck us all into a vortex of mind-numbing information overload and clutter unknown to generations of women before us.”

“Life was simple back in the eighties.”

“What happened to simplicity?”

“My mind was trained to focus on one thing at a time, and there were very few interruptions in a normal day.”

“Information floods in from every direction, challenging me to process it, discard the unimportant and irrelevant, and save the important.  Without a solid filter for making those decisions, I find myself over-committed and on mental overload.” [Read more…]

I Used to Be So Organized Book Study – Week 1

21
Oct
2013

Let’s Get Organized!

Here we are ladies, our first book and Bible study together – so exciting for me – truly!!!   I felt a calling to lead a study for moms online but wasn’t sure what it would look like or how it would go.  You are all my guinea pigs, so have grace  🙂

I pray you all have your books, but if you do not,  you can read the first two chapters online, so you won’t fall behind!  There is still time to share this study with your friends and invite them along.   You can refer them to the description page here with all the information on the study and options for participating.

Each Monday I will be posting the weeks reading assignment as well as the Bible memory verse for the week.  I have not been one to be good at memorizing verses, in fact I really only know one verse by heart – but I’ve known it for nearly 16 years – Proverbs 3: 5-6 and I am so glad I do know it and can draw from it.   [Read more…]