Monday, November 28, 2011

"Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree..."

Many years ago - OK, like 10 to be exact, I purchased this tree!  My friend had found them at a local Christmas Store at their after Christmas sale for $5!  Five dollars?  Now that I could afford!  We have lovingly termed the tree ~ The Chimney Sweep Tree, because without the ornaments and lights, it looks just like one!  It is only a tad more than 5 feet tall and tilts a bit to the left, but with a few shims and a tree skirt, you would never know!
OK, so the thing is, I get a TON of compliments on this tree!  And of course I can't just say thank you. No, I have to tell everyone it is my $5 tree!  But, really, I've done the math, that's only .50 per year so far!  I'm so excited about how much money this tree has saved us over the years, that I want to share my excitement! 
So, this tree sits in our living room. It has Mama's Touch...basically, only Mama is allowed to touch it!

On this tree I have some very special ornaments:

My very first ornament {from the year I was born}- she's lost her bonnet, but she sleeps under a bough every year!

The billum from missionaries in Papau New Guinea ~ where Ken took his first mission trip!

An angel made by my angel - Tristen!

And of course an Acorn - a gift from Ken embracing my "nuttiness"!

Every year one of my older children mentions us getting a new tree, but I really enjoy the transformation! And I'm also enjoying the process of seeing just how much it's yearly cost decreases! And who can resist the endearment of a "Charlie Brown Christmas Tree?"

Don't worry - we have a "kids 'tree'" in the playroom...well, not exactly a tree, but I will blog about that later this week!

The point is - you don't have to have the greatest, most expensive decor to make your home beautiful!  A little love goes a long way!  I'd love to hear your ideas! Any other $5 trees out there?

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fast Tip Friday {and the Chocolate Winners - Finally!}...

So, we spent the last few days preparing for hosting Thanksgiving, - then the big day - then sending our 3rd oldest off to Chile on a mission trip - and finally the annual "D-day" as my kiddos call it, which means Decorating Day {for Christmas, that is}!

Anyway, last year I came across this poem about Christmas that is a great reminder as we are heading into the Christmas Season!  Remember "The Reason for The Season" and everything else will fall into place!

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime: I’m just another cook.

If I work at a soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity; but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.

If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the spouse. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love does not envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.

Love does not yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love does not give only to those who are able to give in return; but rejoices in giving to those who cannot.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

--Author Unknown

And now for the moment you all have been waiting for...

The Chocolate Winners!

Marsha Van Eaton                     Tristen Haertel                       Annika Manchester

Congratulations!  Send me your addresses ladies, and I will send you some chocolate!  {Well, Tristen, I will give you yours on Tuesday! }

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Only by the Spirit in me...

Last year at this time, I had a very upsetting thing happen to me in the parking lot of Costco.  At the time, I told very few people about it because I truly felt like the Holy Spirit had moved in me that day and I feared that telling the story would somehow come across as me taking credit for what only Christ deserves credit for!  I did share my story with a local radio station through email and did so anonymously.  Today I am sharing this story to all of you for two reasons:

1 ~ Be open to the Holy Spirit in your own life!  As we become more aware of his promptings, we are able to walk in obedience more easily!

2 ~ It’s the holiday season – be careful out there!  It is cold, people are desperate, and will do desperate things!  I pray protection over each one of you as you go about your days!

Here is the story {as emailed to the radio station}:

Not the actual man - but one just like him!

Today, I was shopping at Costco with my 18yo son and 3 of my little ones.  We were parked right at the front door 4 spaces from the carts.  As we were leaving, my son was pushing my daughter in the cart ahead of me with my other daughter right next to them.  I was lagging by about 20 feet as I had my 20 mo old on my back and am pregnant. 

As my son was approaching our van, I heard him say, "Hey Man!  Give me a break!" while looking towards the driver's side of the vehicle. 

I said, "What’s going on?" 

He said, "These guys are siphoning our gas!" 

By then I was to the vehicle...I stood right in front of their car and slammed my hands on the hood and called the man a foul name.  I told my son to call the police and was prepared to stand my ground so that they couldn't leave.  That is right when the Holy Spirit took over in me...I said, "Why would you do something like that?" 
To which the man answered, "I'm just trying to get home.  I live in Seattle and I'm out of gas." 
I then responded, "Do you need money?" 

And he said, "Yes!" 

I told my son to hold on a minute as he had not yet called the police. 

I approached the driver of the car... as I approached; I noticed a passenger on the other side, and another passenger lying down in the back. 

I said, “I’m sorry I called you (that name).  But, why would you do that?  You don't know my circumstances, you don't know if I'm not on my last bit of gas.  Why didn't you just ask somebody for money?" 

He said he didn't know, it didn't feel right to him. 

So I said, “Hold on a minute, I'm going to give you some money.” 

I grabbed $20 {a rare occurrence for me to have cash} out of my wallet, and headed back to him.  As I squatted down next to him, he said, "I can't take your money." 

So I asked him if he knew Jesus Christ. 

He said, "Yeah, kind of." 

I said, "Well, you are obviously not walking with him right now.  But I want you to know that He doesn't care if you are stealing gas, or lying, or doing drugs, or what you are doing, if you are willing to turn from your ways and admit you're on the wrong path, He wants to rescue you!" 

I apologized another time for calling him (that name), and he apologized to me for stealing my gas.   

I said, "I know that I look like a middle class woman with everything going for her right now, but you need to know that I had a baby at 17, did my share of drugs and alcohol and was completely down and out, but Christ changed all of that for me, and he will do it for you.  So when you are in that place where you find yourself with nowhere to go and nothing to eat and totally strung out and your thinking, "what the heck did I do with my life", I want you to remember the face of this woman who you were stealing gas from that gave you 20 bucks, and told you about Jesus and cry out to Him because He will rescue you from that place." 

He again said, "I can't take your money and I'm sorry for stealing your gas." 

I handed him the money and said, "I would give you more, but this is all I have.  I want you to have it, because this is what Christ would do for you!" 

He asked me if I was sure and I told him that yes, because Christ loved him and wanted me to give him the money. He apologized again, and left.

Two things struck me:

The passenger next to him dropped his chin to his chest when I mentioned Jesus, and looked up and looked me straight in the eye when said, "I want you to remember the face of this woman..."

I'm praying for those three young men...even as I was on my way home, that if I didn't do the right thing, if they were meant to be in jail, then God would allow something else to happen so that they would be pulled over. 

Please join me as I pray for those men, they are someone's sons, and Christ loves them too...they may end up doing mighty things for His kingdom one day, remembering a face that hopefully reflected the true heart of Christ!

All Glory to God!

Photo: "Running Out of Time"  by Tom Stone Art

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bread Baking in Process...

Good Monday Morning to Everyone!  Remember that there is still time to enter the giveaway!

Who knew that the process of bread baking would cause so many questions to arise?  Must be the yeast!  Oh, I am so punny!

Per many requests, here are a few pictures of bread baking in process...

Here is the wheat grinder in action! {It sounds like the high pitch of a jet engine!}

We use The Blendtec Kitchen Mill by Ktec. My sweet girl bought this for me after my other mill had water poured in it! I can grind 12 cups of wheat at a time in approximately 2 minutes!  There are a lot of options in mills out there, but this one serves us beautifully...{they run about $180 dollars through Amazon, but you may be able to find it less expensive through a web search!}

For loaf pans, we use these 2 Pullman Loaf Pans + 3 Standard Loaf Pans.  Pullman Pans have straight sides,produce a longer loaf, and make great sandwich bread!  My hubby bought these for me a few Christmases ago...{Again, I found these on Amazon for $16.00!}

Then there is the big red bowl! This one is another Christmas gift from my husband from Crate and Barrel.  They don't sell this exact one anymore, but do sell some other similar items.  It is nice to have an over sized bowl for allowing the dough to rise - then you don't end up with the "spill over" that happens with smaller bowls.  If you do not have a large bowl, you could improvise with a large pot or bucket.  I also have separated my dough portions into the pans, let them rise, punched them down and let them rise again!

Each of these items I have acquired over time!  You do not NEED each of these items to begin making your own bread.  Improvise!  I used to have a stand mixer, which made my bread making super convenient, but I burned up the motor with the quantity of bread I was making in it!  {Literally, I had to take it outside because of all the smoke pouring out of it!} I am saving my pennies to buy a heavy duty mixer (Bosch), but in the meantime, I'm getting my workout kneading the dough by hand!

OK, there you have it!  Feel free to comment with any more questions, and I will respond through the comment section.

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fast Tip Friday ~ Cups and Littles:Keeping Them Corralled {Plus a Little Giveaway}...

So, I don't know about you, but one of the little frustrations about having so many "Littles" is the constant use and toss of cups!  Seriously, we own 14 child size cups, and, in the past, by dinner time, they ALL would be in the sink or dishwasher!

One day, Mama said, "No More!"

And so birthed the "Cup Corral":

It consists of a little, plastic, white tray that holds 5 IKEA kids cups comfortably.  Each morning the kiddos pick their color, and use and replace their cups to the tray through out the day!  If you look closely in the picture, you can see a bit of water in the tray...Hudson is just able to reach his cup {usually the green one}, grab a drink of water, and return the cup - this usually also results in a little spillage!  No worries - the tray holds it nicely - and Mama never has another thought about it!

Tray: JoAnn Fabrics - $3.99 {came with some condiment compartments and spoons}
Cups: IKEA - $1.99 {package of 6 - I believe}

No more frustration!

Now for the giveaway!

As I was standing in line at Trader Joe's yesterday, I saw this 3 pack of Dark Chocolate Bars!  I thought of all of you and how grateful I am for all of the wonderful feedback and support I have received on my new blog!  So, for this giveaway, simply enter a comment about what you are thankful for! {I know some are going through some yucky stuff right now, so this might be difficult! Come on! I know you can do it!}  Three winners will be randomly drawn and announced next Wednesday!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Number One Marriage Tip {with some tips for "singles"}...

First, I want to check in and see how you are all doing on the challenge I presented a couple of weeks ago?  Honestly, I’m still praying that God will make the holding of my tongue a habit and not something I need to focus on daily!  I’ve not done perfectly.  In fact, I’ve been presented with a couple of areas that I’ve really not been doing well in, but I’m still committed to continue…

Now, I think I feel a preachin’ coming on…

Seriously, a question that came up privately the other day was: “What is your number one marriage tip?”

Now, that can be a tricky question to answer! We all come from different backgrounds with different examples of marriage.  So specific details around daily life issues can vary from one family to another!

That considered; my number one marriage tip is to look to the proper source for your fulfillment!  Seems simple, right?  Well, it’s easier said than done!  Often times we women come into marriage after being swept off our feet by our knight in shining armor, and we have expectations of how that person is going to fulfill our inner most needs – both physically and emotionally.  It’s an expectation that no man could ever meet…plus, it’s a lot of pressure on them!

So, who is your true Knight in Shining Armor?  The One that created you before time began!  The One who knows every hair on your head!  The one who will fulfill your EVERY need!

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

Now, this Knight in Shining Armor does not take the place of your husband, but, your husband should never take the place of this Knight!  Put Christ first and the rest will follow! {I promise to blog more practical ideas on this later!}

My number 1.1 marriage tip?

The “S” word…

No, not what you’re thinking, but it often is thought of as a “dirty word” – SUBMIT!

When I was in my 20’s I attended a mentorship group called P.U.S.H!  {Pray Until Something Happens}  It was made up of a group of 13 young women being lead by 3 older women.  The very first meeting, one leader said, “Today we are going to talk about submission!”  I thought, “Seriously? Submission? I’m out of here!”  But I stayed, listened, and learned a bit.  Then I started putting it into practice…
I have come to realize that submission has it's benefits!  Mainly, when I submit to my husband and his desires for our family, I come to enjoy the comforting protection of being under his care. Basically I'm allowing him to be my knight in shining armor!

15 years later, I’m still practicing submission – here are some practical ideas:

*Ask your husband his opinion!  Not just with a “what do you think” and then do it your way anyway.  Really ask and then put it into practice. Ask in all areas – some he will have an opinion, some he will say he is willing to let you decide, some he will need your input in order to make a decision.

*Be willing to let it fail!  Sometimes we want our husbands to be leaders, but then we don’t actually let them lead because we don’t want the issue to be a failure in our lives.  Sometimes we need to allow our husbands the freedom to make poor decisions so that they learn and make better decisions in the future. (Sometimes a husband won’t actually move until the whole ship has sunk…while this is difficult to live through, trust that God has your best interest at heart as He is teaching your man some lessons. You will be in a better place on the other side!)
*Make “Let me check with my husband/your dad!” a daily mantra in your life! You are speaking aloud what you are putting into practice!  Be prepared for a few eye rolls or laughs if this is new, but trust me, others will catch on soon enough!

*Finally – don’t fall to temptation!  You know what I’m talking about – there is a decision to be made, and you feel very strongly that you KNOW the right answer, only this is one of those decisions that could have lasting ramifications!  So, you pretty much force the issue – usually by manipulation (crying, pouting, silent treatment, nagging, etc.)  In our house we call this “Eve-ing him into it.” Since the fall of man, we have had great influence over our men.  All I can say is: RESIST!!! 

If I know I have a strong opinion about something, I will usually give Ken a few days to think about something before I give ANY input…sometimes even saying, “I don’t want to Eve you into it!”

As promised, I do have a word for you single ladies…

Be preparing for the potential of being a wife one day!  Pray for your future husband! Practice submission – this can be towards your dad, Pastor, brother or other authority figure in your life. When considering a future spouse, consider your willingness to fall under their authority (do they make wise decisions now?) You won’t be able to change them in the future!

For those that may be called to lifetime singleness…you are a special league of women!  Do not be discouraged, but rather embrace this unique calling! Remember you’re an example to other, usually younger women!  Be intentional to live out your submission to your ultimate head as the Bride of Christ! You will be richly rewarded!

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Late Fast Tip Friday {with Bread Recipe}...

You’ll have to forgive the tardiness of this Fast Tip Friday post.  Today my sweet cousin from California came to visit.  She is expecting her first baby and we had a ton of catching up to do!

While she was here, she was witness to the weekly bread baking!  Her words were, “You know, I do a lot of cooking, but not much baking.  I was watching you and that seemed really easy!”

So there you have it!  Mama Cook’s Homemade Whole Wheat Bread is really easy!  No, really, it is! {And yummy too – if I do say so myself!}

So here is the recipe {originally from The Family Homestead – but with a couple of revisions.}

Mama Cook’s Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

2 cups warm water
1/3 cup honey
1 T yeast
1/3 cup oil (I use coconut oil, but any oil will do)
2 t. salt
1/3 cup gluten flour
7 cups whole wheat flour (freshly ground is best, but if you do not have a mill, whole wheat flour is better than white flour!  I grind Hard Red Wheat Berries – my family likes the texture better!)

Mix 1st four ingredients in a large bowl.  Let sit approximately 5-10 mins, until bubbly.

Add remaining ingredients.  Mix! If you have a stand mixer, you will want to knead this about 7 minutes.  I currently do not have a stand mixer, so I knead mine by hand approximately 10 minutes.

Let rise until double in size – approx. 30 minutes. {I have skipped this step with much success, but recently my loaves have been “falling” after baking unless I do a double rise.}

Punch down and divide into 2 balls.  Press into 2 greased loaf pans.

Let rise a second time in your oven.  Then turn on oven to 350 and bake for 30 minutes!  Remove from pan onto a cooling rack so the bread can release its moisture.

Cut and enjoy!

I usually bake 6 loaves of this bread per week.  I simply triple the recipe, so it is the same amount of effort with bigger results! Each loaf costs about .75 cents per loaf. You will want a really sharp serrated bread knife for cutting slices thin enough to make sandwiches. Try it once…you may never go back!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Food Budget Tips…

First, I want to thank everyone for the wonderful responses to my {challenge} last week!  The number of responses I received was overwhelming – and I am so excited to be on this journey with so many of you!  Keep it up!

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

A couple of Fridays ago, I posted asking what people were interested in me blogging about.  The number one response was “budgets and recipes”.  I do intend to respond to each person’s topics, but I figured this was a good place to start!

So, our family of 10 {at home}’s budget for groceries per month is:


That works out to $60 per person per month!  This includes food, hygiene, cleaning products, and paper goods.  So, how do I do it?  COSTCO!

Actually, while Costco does tend to be my “go to” store of choice, there are two strategies I incorporate into my food budget – buy in bulk and make it from scratch!  Cooking like your grandma used to do!
There are a few tools that will be helpful to invest in:
*Food Grade Buckets
*Grinder {if grinding whole wheat for bread}
*Roasting Pan
*Tightly sealing containers for dried good pantry storage {i.e., canning jars, tupperware - like containers, etc.}
*Stand Mixer  {Heavy Duty is best!} - although currently I am kneading bread the old fashioned way - by hand!

Your number one investment for purchasing in bulk will be your freezer!  We actually had one for many years that we picked up at a garage sale.  When it died, we had some sweet friends give us one that had been their father’s.  Even if you live in an apartment, I highly recommend finding space for even a small freezer.

I have done my fair share of canning, and I still think it is a great hobby and a fun way to put up the harvest, but freezing is so much easier and fewer nutrients are lost in the process.

I have two rules of thumb for pricing: Meat is no more than $2.00/lb. and Produce is no more than $1.00/lb.  Occasionally I will splurge, but typically if you buy in season and in bulk, you will be able to stay close to these ranges. (Here in the Pacific NW!)

As I am typing, I have a batch of Pork Butt in the roasting pan.

While this picture doesn’t do it justice, trust me – the aroma is Heavenly! {This pork will be “pulled” and then used for a number of different dishes like BBQ Pulled Pork  and Pulled Pork Tacos-to name a couple.}

Some other tried and true hints are:

*Use rice as filler – we usually use brown rice for a higher nutrient content

*Bake your own bread – I make a yummy whole wheat bread for about .50-.75/loaf {I recently discovered Azure Standard for purchasing my wheat in bulk.  I also purchase other ingredients like Peanut Butter, Oats, Coconut Oil, and more from them.)

*Make as much from scratch as you can: muffins, granola bars, granola as cereal, seasoning mixes, salad dressing, breakfast foods, pizza the list is endless!  I figure my time is money…my savings per meal add up to a good wage per hour!

*Eat simply! Pick a few simple dishes, perfect them and use them over and over! {Wednesday night is Oatmeal Night at The Cottage! I’ve heard of others doing Taco Tuesday, etc.}

*Plan! Plan! Plan! {This uses what you have and prevents you from doing the last minute grocery store pickups, which we all know usually includes at least one item you didn’t know you needed!}

*Beans!  High protein – high fiber – low price!  Buy these dried, they are less expensive this way, have more nutrients and can be precooked to save you time in the dinnertime dash to get something prepared. I have a ton of fun recipes, but so does the internet! {Be careful regarding price here though – DO NOT go over the $2.00/lb mark for beans…you can usually find dry beans for less than $1.00/lb!}

*Be willing to substitute ingredients…just remember to use a “like” item…vinegar/lemon, Italian seasoning/oregano, basil, rosemary, teriyaki sauce/soy and brown sugar, etc…I’ve had great success in this area, only I can never duplicate the recipe! J

*Drink water instead of milk or other beverages (I posted about this here!)

This is just a sampling of our food strategies… I will continue with other budget saving ideas in future posts!  Feel free to shoot me a comment with any questions or challenges…I may have found a solution along the way!

Thanks for stopping by!  Be Refreshed!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fast Tip Friday {and the winners}...

Congratulations to:

Brandan Haertel


Charity Mass

Congratulations you two! 

{Please email me your addresses and I will get your packages in the mail right away!}

If you didn't win, next week I will be letting you know how to get your hands on some yummy Harvest Spice Tea of your own!

So my fast tip is actually an answer to Kari Termont's comment: How do I respond to people who question how many children we have?

Well, this has developed over the years!  When we only had 4 kiddos, I was often offended by some of the comments that people would make:

*You know what causes that right?
*Are you done?
*How many are you going to have?
*How can you afford so many kids?
*Don't you have a t.v.?
*Are you going to get fixed?

I'm sure there are many more!  My responses have been different in different settings:

*No, we're just getting started...
*We aren't sure?/It's up to God!/We're open!
*Good budgeting!/Ummmm...none of your business!/We don't consider ourselves the providers!
*(I shouldn't post how I've responded to this one!)
*As you can see...we're not broken!

Nowadays, I have come to realize that people are usually genuinely curious.  So, I usually answer any questions with a smile and a genuine answer.  If someone is being snarky, I'll simply laugh them off and move on!  I just don't have time to take anyone too seriously!  {This has taken a lot of growth and refinement on my part - I don't pretend to have started here!}

Never be offended by others opinions about the number of children God has blessed you with!  So many people simply don't understand that they are truly a blessing when we embrace them as such! And so many more long to have just one of those blessings to call their own...

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!

My Lovely Assistant!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I've got something on my mind {with a challenge}...

First a little eye candy!
{Dessert first...}

OK, so usually my posts are pretty light, with a quick idea, tip or encouragement and a few pictures.  This post might be a little more heavy…a bit of “meat” to chew on per se! 

We’ve all heard it – the wife that reveals a small idiosyncrasy about her husband in public, the husband who jokes about a wife’s spending, cleaning habits, {fill in the blank}, the mother who outwardly criticizes her child in front of watching eyes…
Sometimes I’ve thought – “phew, glad I’m not the only one.” Other times I’ve thought – “ouch!”

 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those wo love it will eat its fruits." Proverbs 18:21

God has really been convicting me of this lately! 

A few weeks ago I was sitting in church listening to a sermon when the Pastor said something that might be taken from a couple of different perspectives.  Out of the corner of my eye, I glanced at a woman that I know and saw her husband turn and smile at her.  Her response to him was a look of distaste…I could almost see his body shrink as he turned back to look at the Pastor.  My thought was, “If she only knew how much good she could do herself and family if she built him up a little more.”  And almost immediately God impressed upon me how much good I could do if only I built up my husband more!

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and I am standing in a crowd and talking with a few friends.  One of the wives begins {jokingly} complaining to her husband about how little he does to help her around the house and with the children. I watched him go from a talkative, smiling participant to a silent, downward looking “extra”.

I wondered, “Does she think that will inspire him to do more?”  And again, the conviction of the times that I have not protected my husband from airing my frustrations came flooding to mind.

We have the power to bring life or death to those whom we love! 

Think about it! People become who we say they are!  Tell someone what you love about them, and they are excited to continue to do or be that person.  Tell someone what annoys you about them, and they become defensive and bitter.

At times, our words are an overflow of the bitterness in our hearts over unresolved hurts.

"The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks."  Luke 6:45

Often our speech is simply a matter of habit.  We have cultivated a habit of negative thinking and talking.

As I’ve been pondering this post, I’ve been thinking how to keep it as an encouragement to all of you.  So, I’m creating a challenge…

From now until Thanksgiving I’m challenging each of us to start a new habit {choose one or all}:

·         Speak a word of edification into someone daily.

·         Write down at least one thing you are thankful for in another person in your life (maybe the one you choose to criticize the most).  Better yet, tell that person!

·         Simply bite your tongue every time the temptation to speak negatively arises!

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."  Ephesians 4:29

Finally!  Get an accountability partner!  Let someone close to you know you have accepted this challenge and have them hold you to it!  Think you don’t know someone who will truly hold you accountable?  Email me!  Seriously…even if I receive 100 emails…this is so important to me I want to keep all of you encouraged!
Or simply post a comment that you've accepted the challenge, and I commit to be praying for you!

Remember, 2 winners will be chosen tomorrow for the giveaway – there is still time for your comments!

Thanks for stopping by! Be Refreshed!