What I Learned in June

What I Learned in June

  

I’m joining Emily P. Freeman’s monthly link up sharing what I learned this June!

1. Lifetime Movies Rock!  Back in my college days, many, many years ago, one of my roommates would be glued to the TV  if she came across a Lifetime movie. It didn’t matter if she flipped it on halfway through, she was hooked.  A Deadly Adoption played by Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig captures the Lifetime genre perfectly in all its awesomeness!  

2. You can learn to draw Disney Characters! We just completed our final Walt Disney World trip (after a year long Magic Pass) and on our final trip discovered Hollywood Studios has an Animation Academy where the instructor teaches you to draw a Disney Character!  We loved this!! Even my husband enjoyed it and produced a great Misery from Inside Out

I’d like to thank the Academy….
 


3. Honesty gives others the freedom to be honest as well. -Shauna Niequist via Savor


4.  I need the beach to connect with my Creator and to unplug and simply be.  

What have you learned this June?  Join Emily’s link up!

Tuesday Tips | Laundry Stain Removal Remedy to the Rescue!

Tuesday Tips | Laundry Stain Removal Remedy to the Rescue!

 

Searching for the sunrise in North Myrtle Beach!
 
 
Shutting down Magic Kingdom one last time!
 

Hello Peeps!  We’ve returned from nearly back to back vacations (I know, rough life, huh?) and I’m eyeball deep in loads and loads of laundry. 

Vacations are awesome until the suitcases get unpacked. And with my crew, we have a few messy amongst us and inevitably there will be stains on certain family members’ clothes!

I confess I’m great at messes myself. For years I’ve searched high and low for the holy grail of stain removal.  Especially, when I have the knack of dribbling it on the front of my tops!

I’ve tried homemade remedies (baking soda paste, aspirin, etc.) as well as Shout  and other stain removal sticks. None would get my crazy stains completely out. Until this gem:

 

Magic in a Bottle!
 
This magic cleaner is Better Life’s Natural Stain & Odor Eliminator. You can buy it here and can find it in some retail locations. 

I adore this product and no, I am not sponsored by Better Life or have any financial interest in their company. 

First, it’s all natural!  Yay!  I’m extemely sensitive to chemicals in cleaning products and even break out in hives. So, a natural, effective cleaning product is a must!

Second, it works!  I know I should post before and after photos of the stains and how it completely removes them, but trust me that this spray completely removes stains.  Every time. 

I simply spray it on the stain, sometimes as I’m waiting for the other load to finish, but more likely I spray it right before it goes into the wash.

I have removed the following stains with this product:

  • Chocolate
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Salad Dressing
  • Rust
  • Grime
  • Blood

They have all come out and to boot, smell faintly of eucalyptus!  

The odor removal component works as well… I use it on especially smelly yoga gear and after the wash, the funky smell is gone!

So, as I continue to work through the loads of laundry, my task is made much easier because of this spray!

And, if you’ve read my earlier posts, you spied we went to Walt Disney World one last time!  I’ll be posting an updated list of things to do and tips at each of the parks!

Am I the only one that has trouble with stains?  How do you remove tough stains?  Let me know in the comments!!

Five Minute Friday | Fear

Five Minute Friday | Fear

 

My heart ached yesterday morning when I heard the news….9 dead, killed during their Wednesday night Bible study, at church, in Charleston, South Carolina.

Fears turning into front page news. Yet again, someone walks into a church to kill. The news outlets continued to show the evil doer’s face and begins to fill in the details of the horror of that evening. 

And yet, they were in church, studying God’s Word and Jesus was there. In the midst of someone who came to kill people because they were Black, Jesus was there. Because Jesus says Where two or more are gathered, I will be there.

I can’t imagine the fear of those 9 that had welcomed a stranger only to see him aim his hatred, his gun at each of them and begin shooting. 

And yet, Jesus was with them. Through the fear. 

Do we believe Jesus?  He is with us always? Perfect love casts out all fear? 

Because Satan desires us to let fear control this situation. Satan can only create fear.  We know the the One who casts out all fears. 

I pray, along with my brothers and sisters in Jesus, that fear would not reign; that this horror would not deepen racial divides and be used as an instrument of destruction, but that The Church would stand firm and denounce racism, hatred and evil and show that truly His perfect love casts out all fear. 

A Summer Break Prayer

 


We’ve just returned from the beach, and easing (or more like ramping up) into our often hectic summer break rhythm.

Summer’s significantly shorter with our school calendar and so we cram lots of traveling and fun experiences while we have the chance!  But, the fast pace can lead to a diminishing of joy during a summer break!  Odd, huh?

So, here’s prayer to pray while you’re cramming wonderful summer life experiences during the break!

Our Father,

Thank You for this season of sun, new daily rhythms and exploring Your world and connecting with friends and family!

Help us to enjoy these days, taking pleasure in the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. 

Let us make the most in the waiting (airport gates, interstate traffic, amusement park lines, ballgame traffic) and find joy in the now, with our tribe, our people. 

Help us find a quiet spot in the hustle of summer where we can hear Your voice, see Your beauty, and taste Your goodness in this season!

Help us love more deeply and make the most of the time with our children, the silly and the serious, the easy and the tough. 

Help us to celebrate each day and savor these days of summer.

Let us be administrators of Your grace and give freely and often!

Amen

  


Words for Wednesday | All That Glisters

  
Apparently, Shakespeare said it first, and best when he penned:

All that glisters is not gold.

Modern language has changed the saying to “All that glitters is not gold.”  But I prefer Shakespeare’s word glisters.

To my ears, glister spoken sounds like a very close cousin to blister.  And, within the confines of the expression, shiny sparkly things can sometimes be blisters on the soul. 

Because we desire gold. Gold as in the Golden Rule, the highest standard, the symbol of excellence, purity and highest good.   Our soul longs for that perfect form of justice, love, mercy, goodness, purity, beauty and excellence. Our highest ideal.

Although we know that we cannot obtain this highest ideal here on Earth, we do know that God has set that desire in our hearts and has created and given us glimpses of the Golden Ideal. 

Besides the usual glisters that capture our eye-money, fame, beauty, and power-there’s another, more dangerous form of glister that captures us as well. 

There are Glisters who live amongst us. Those who temporarily blind us with their sparkles and beauty, their radiant goodness, their morality above reproach, their par excellence. 

And they sparkle and glister, but their heart, their soul, is not gold.  When they finally reveal their true inner self and true motives, they become a blister on our soul, a reminder that we can be fooled for a season. 

Fair warning has been given as Shakespeare’s quote continues in his play The Merchant of Venice.

All that glisters is not gold; 
Often have you heard that told;
Many a man his life has sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold
Has you been as wise as bold,

Even though these people might create a blister upon your soul…painful, annoying, and uncomfortable; the great thing about blisters is that they pop…and disappear. For good.  And your soul, once tender and vulnerable to deceptive “golden” boys/girls is now calloused and toughened to those who would try and capitalize on your tender spots. 

And so, my prayer for myself as I discover the Glisters in my life, is that I may be a dull piece of pottery on the exterior, but hold priceless treasure on the inside for the glory of my Father. 

Have you discovered Glisters in your life?  How did you move on and become a hidden treasure in a jar of clay?

Words for Wednesday|Your Actions

The 26 poses…number 5 is a doozy!

I love to practice Hot Yoga. I have now been practicing Hot Yoga over 2 years.  Can I do all 26 poses perfectly? No.  That’s what I love about it. Even after you’ve mastered Triangle or the deceptively easy looking Half Moon pose you can always go deeper, move towards an advancement of the pose or slightly shift your weight or focus and get a whole new level of strength. 

The world sees your actions, not your intentions.

At the beginning of each class, we lie and rest quietly on our yoga mats relaxing and adjusting to the heat.  (Yes, it’s super hot…hot as Hades sometimes). But, the heat also relaxes me and frequently I fall asleep. 

Next, the class teacher comes in and greets us as we stand to do begin the opening breathing exercise together. 

One teacher always says to us this:

The world sees your actions, not your intentions. 

She then asks us each to set our intentions for the class. My intentions are to try every pose and do my best. 

But the quote always stays with me…because my yoga teacher and my fellow class members can see that by my actions I don’t always do every pose and not always my best. 

There’s the conflict for humanity. Our intentions most always do not match up with our actions. Or, when we do act, others misinterpret our intentions. 

I have lived through both predicaments. 

First…My intentions are good, pure and noble…but the actions fall short to others and their expectations. People pleasing will get you in this mess. The solution, stand firm in your intention and resulting action and if those around you are unhappy, too bad. 

Second, I perform a kind, unselfish act and the “world” misinterprets my intentions.  You cannot control others’ agendas. If someone wishes to paint you mean, ineffective, a monster, etc to deflect from their own shortcomings,  then that’s what they will do. Some people may choose to believe and others will not. The solution I have found is silence. The Truth always comes out and will expose the Haters. 

That is why I take comfort that although the world judges us by our actions, God weighs our heart, He knows our intentions.   

This morning spend time with God. Let Him examine your heart, know your intentions.  Even better, ask God for wisdom in the action to take and wait and listen for God’s answer.  

Are you tired of your actions not matching up with your intentions?  Are you frustrated that others misinterpret your intentions?  Talk to God about it. 

What I Learned in May

 

Toss those caps high!

Did you hear?  May is the new December. I’ve officially had more goings on with  end of school events, concerts, recitals,graduations and graduation open houses besides Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, etc. 

May hustled through quickly this time, but oh so much have I learned.

  1. Graduations must be endured.   Although ecstatic and proud, I have gained a new found appreciation for my parents and what they endured. Yes, kids are smart, and yes cliches exist because there’s a ring of truth in them; but, please, for the love, limit graduation speakers to only one class valedictorian…OK, two even. But never again five.  Pretty please?!
  2. Google Photos App is Life. Do you get the nagging iPhone message that your phone hasn’t been backed up because there’s not enough storage on your iCloud?  Yeah, me too!  Google Photos solves alllllllll of that. It’s a free app and offers free unlimited photo storage.  No limits. Free.  Google was the first to offer free email (gmail). I still pity the fools who shell out money for their AOL accounts. Check it out. Too many cool features.  You have to experience it yourself!
my new favorite jam. Besties.

3,  Lip Sync Battle is the Bomb. I cried tears watching Spike TV’s new show, where celebrities go head to head and battle each other via lip syncing their song.   If you only watch one episode, make it Mike Tyson’s!

Awww Mikey!!

4. Living with discontent isn’t the bomb, but that’s where amazing growth happens.  I wrote about discontent here at the beginning of May and as it ended I have grown so much just by facing my discontent and its underlying source and realizing it will always be an undercurrent in my life. I’m so happy to report that now at the end of May I am so much more content!

5.  This book explains a great deal of how horrible behaviors persist. And, the author’s solution to dealing with manipulative people is you.  I’m recommending this book to everyone, because everyone has at least one subversive manipulative person in their life. At least one. 

a necessary tool in today’s culture.

May brought in a mix of activities and emotions, but it ended with peace and contentment. 

How did May go for you?  Share in the comments. I’d love to hear what you learned in May!