31 Days of Praise {Day 12} Grace Under Fire

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work. – 2 Cor 9:8

After reading Lisa B.’s “31 Days of WordPress” post today, I could feel her pain. There are some days when we could all use a little extra grace.

Lately, my business has been so very good (God has blessed abundantly!) that I’m finding it more and more difficult to stay on top of client requests and I’m having to turn a lot of new business away. I simply cannot do it all, nor can I stay on top of it, even working 12-18 hours a day.

Like anything in life, the stress is beginning to wear on me and it’s showing in my speech with others (I’m short) and my general attitude (I’m exhausted). It’s times like this, we must remember that God’s grace is sufficient. I love the acrostic for Grace, which I first heard from Dr. Adrian Rogers – “God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense”. Isn’t that a lovely picture? Grace is one of the most beautiful words in the English language.

When people truly understand grace, it makes them want to write songs about it. I think we could all use a little grace now and then. If we can’t get it from those around us and we hit a wall due to exhaustion, depression, anger, frustration, or sadness…all we need to do is look up.

I will praise Him today for the unmerited favor He’s extended to this undeserving sinner. Truly, God’s grace is sufficient to see us through.

Please visit the other ladies who are participants in the 31 Days of Ministry Online:

Amy Bayliss {Cajun Inspired} : 31 Days of Heart Matters
{A Martha Heart} : 31 Days of Prayer
Karin {Mommy Matters} : 31 Days of Intentional Parenting
Jenny {867-53oh9} : 31 Days of Social Media
Dawn {My Home Sweet Home} : 31 Days of Encouragement
Lisa Boyd : 31 Days of WordPress

*Links to all posts on this subject can be found here.

Leaders VS. Followers

When this post originally was published (way back in October of 2006), it had more to do with business than raising children. Today, I can look back at it and see it has as much (if not more) to do with raising children as it has to do with business.

It is really my heart’s desire for my kids to see me SERVING joyfully and willingly not only my husband’s needs, but their needs as well. It is only through my example that they will learn – I can’t be a “Do as I say, not as I do” type of mom.

I truly hope to instill these following values in my children over the next few years that I am able to have them at home.

When leaders make a mistake, they say, “I was wrong.”
When followers make mistakes, they say, “It wasn’t my fault.”

A leader works harder than a follower and has more time; A follower is always “too busy” to do what is necessary.

A leader goes through a problem;
A follower goes around it and never gets past it.

A leader makes and keeps commitments;
A follower makes and forgets promises.

A leader says, “I’m good, but not as good as I ought to be;”
A follower says, “I’m not as bad as a lot of other people.”

Leaders listen;
Followers just wait until it’s their turn to talk.

Leaders respect those who are superior to them and tries to learn something from them; Followers resent those who are superior to them and try to find chinks in their armor.

Leaders feel responsible for more than their job;
Followers say, “I only work here.”

A leader says, “There ought to be a better way to do this;”
Followers say, “That’s the way it’s always been done here.”

Doesn’t that make you want to be a leader?

I’ve done a few blogs, yes.

One of my spiritual gifts is mercy. (Don’t laugh – it’s true, and no one was more surprised that me.) I have a hard time saying “no” to folks…and had taken two orders after my queue closed that I’m now smacking my forehead for taking. Although I need to earn the money, (My friend Kelli recently told me that the majority of designers surveyed, worked over 50 hrs a week and made less than $20K a year – I can testify to that!) I also need to be more available to my kids. My husband might like it if I actually cleaned the house once in a while too. 🙂

I haven’t updated my portfolio in ages…will get to that once I’m finished with my queue…only have 7 blogs left – I can’t believe I don’t have at least 20 in queue. I have to tell you – I have no idea how I’m going to manage it going forward. There has to be a way to keep it down to 1-2 per week, which is really all I can do and do right. I don’t want to do basic design anymore. Anyone can do that and you can find over 300 blog designers on the web who do the same thing. So I’m not sure what the future holds.

That said, here’s a few I’ve done recently, as well as some before and afters:

Living My Best Life (Before and After on Blogger):

Especially Heather (Custom Design, WordPress):

Jumpstart (WP Design):

Lisa B’s WP Guides Blog (header only – WP Design):

Literarily – Before and After (WP Header):

Literate Housewife (Custom Design, WP Before and After):

It’s Always a Production -Restyled Blogger (widgetized, widened, added third column):

Faith Co-op (WP Private Homeschool Multi-Author Blog):

It’s My Life…(Custom Blogger Before and After)

Did you know I’m also doing custom Twitter backgrounds?

Simply Amusing (wonder who this is?)


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One Bank that Never Fails

Antique Mommy has a great post up about the recent changes in the economy and how it’s affecting your budgets, what you’re doing about it and how you’re saying money…it’s definitely worth checking out.

Along the same lines, I keep thinking about Christmas and how the economy has affected us personally and what we’ll do this year for family and the kiddos.

I have been reticent to discuss our finances on my blog, but I will tell you this much…we’re feeling it just like everyone else. Our income has been nonexistent this year. What I mean to say is that my husband’s business has brought in about $4000. Yes. $4000 for the YEAR. Hello. It’s been tough, to say the least. The bright side? God is providing for our every need…and even some we didn’t know we had. And we are learning what Faith and Trust in Him are really all about, and that He’s the only bank that will never fail.

I feel like I’m cheating God in some way and not giving Him the glory He deserves by NOT discussing what’s happened the last two years since my husband quit his job and started working for himself. But I’m honestly struggling with how to share the story in a way that is a testament to God’s mercy and grace, as well as how He provides for us when we try to do what we feel is His perfect Will for our lives.

It just sounds sappy, doesn’t it? lol I thought so, too.

I’ll think on it some more…and if you have any thoughts about homemade Christmas items the kids can make, I’m all ears. I’m on the lookout now for cute ideas for grandparents and a couple of their aunts and uncles.

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The Lifebuilder’s Creed

Today is the most important day of my life.
Yesterday with its success and victories, struggles and failures
is gone forever.
The past is past.
I cannot relive it. I cannot go back and change it.
But I will learn from it and improve my Today.

Today. This moment. NOW.
It is God’s gift to me and it is all that I have.

Tomorrow with all its joys and sorrows, triumphs and
troubles isn’t here yet.
Indeed, tomorrow may never come.
Therefore, I will not worry about tomorrow.

Today is what God has entrusted to me.
It is all that I have. I will do my best in it.
I will demonstrate the best of me in it –
my character, giftedness, and abilities –
to my family and friends, clients and associates.
I will identify those things that are most important
to do Today,
and those things I will do until they are done.
And when this day is done
I will look back with satisfaction at that
which I have accomplished.

Then, and only then will I plan my tomorrow,
Looking to improve upon Today, with God’s help.

Then I shall go to sleep in peace…content.

I just loved this. This is an excerpt from John Maxwell’s book “Today Matters” and was written by Dale Witherington.

(This post was originally published in August of 2006 – thanks for putting up with my leftovers this week as I adjusted to being a homeschool mom of three! Mystery Photo tomorrow – be ready, because there’s another $5 Starbucks card on the line for this one!)

Oh my Gersh…I’ve had to temporarily press the PAUSE button

Who would have ever thought I’d actually have so many orders that I had to close my queue so I could get caught up?!?! But the reality is that since I’m a mom of three, it’s summer, and I have too many folks waiting for their orders, the time has come to shut ‘er down until I can catch up. 🙂

If you are interested in a design, please don’t hesitate to fill out your order form and I’ll place you on the waitlist, but just understand it will be at least 4 weeks before I can get to you, unless I decide to get really spiffy and jazz up on the caffeine and stay up until 4 every morning, then I can get them done!.

Thanks to everyone for your interest and I will catch up, because I LOVE what I’m doing and I love my clients! Each and every one of you!


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