How to navigate life with the cards we’re dealt can be challenging, finding grace in it all may sound nuts. Yet, grace is a big player when it comes to winning. No matter what the situation is, we will get through it if we believe we can. I try to remind myself of that every time a ‘crisis’ rises. But why are we so hard on ourselves when trials surface? Check out these three tricks to playing our cards.
The Hand We’re Dealt: to fold or play?
A few years ago I was talking with my husband about my physical ailments. You see as a kid, my deep desire was to achieve optimal health. I exercised, I ate well, and I wanted to run a marathon. Then the disease kicked in. As a kid I got sick numerous times a year, as a young adult I fracture my hip which has left me ‘run-less’, and later in life, my immune system attacked my digestive health; among other unforeseen troubles, my dream was turning into dust or was it?
As I was going through my list of hurts, my husband said something I’ve heard many times but for some reason, it struck a chord in me that day. He said, “You gotta play the cards you’re dealt.” It was a way of reminding me that I’m not in control, yet to trust the One who is; and that I have a choice to fold my cards or to keep on playing them.
Right now in this post, I’m probably supposed to tell you to not “fold your hand”; but it’s in the folding of our hands where we learn how to play. When we ask God for help in our hardships, He helps us find the right path to run down…if we’re willing to step in that direction. So yes, fold when you have to, not to get out of the game, but to study the game and learn a better strategy.
First: Be good to yourself
Part of the reason challenges are challenges is because we are experiencing uncharted territory in our lives. If we knew how to do EVERYTHING we would have no stress, there would be little pain, and there would be zero challenges. Sounds like a boring life. Problems in life or challenges are a good thing if you look at them with a teaching spirit. Playing the cards we’re dealt involves us looking at life with fresh eyes…our eyes, not the world’s, nor the eyes of your close friends, but our eyes. the eyes God gave us.
Comparing, perfectionism and impatience can throw us way off track. Anger comes to play, then before you know it we blow up we lose sight of how to get through it. God put us on this planet to teach us, to love us, and to get us ready for eternity. One of the ways He demonstrates His confidence in us is through grace. Finding grace may just be what we need to fully see with our eyes the core of our being and to know how to move forward.
What needs to happen: finding grace
There are times when we need to be our own advocates. When it came to my health, our only vessel that gets us around on this planet, I made it my mission to get healthy. With this quest, I tried a lot of things and failed, yet I learned. Today, I’m not where I want to be but I’m not giving up. This is where grace gets dealt into the game. When we’re in a swirl of emotions and super hard on ourselves, it’s critical to get some space to find grace. And it’s there in which all becomes clearer and we get wiser with our decisions.
What ‘grace’ am I talking about? The grace of civility towards ourselves; when we’re going through a rough season, remember to love yourself, not to punish or blame yourself. Be good to yourself, respect your well-being, and understand where you are and where you want to go; because it’s in those moments of grace, where the untangling begins, and where we see what cards to play next. Simply talking to yourself kindly, getting creative, treating yourself to a hobby, taking care of your body, mind, and spirit, and reducing stress will help you experience grace in such a good way.
Secondly: Get in the right mindsetin finding grace
One late August I rediscovered how to wrap myself with a little grace. To transition from a busy summer to the starting of the school year, my family and I went camping. We hooked up the RV (don’t judge me, we got our tent badge years ago) and settled in a wooded campsite. Faint smells of last night’s campfires drifted under my nose, and the quaking leaves and distance boat motors rested on my shoulders. And the canopy of trees comforted my busy head. That weekend I made it a point to go for a walk at least twice a day, not for exercise, but for rest.
As I walked through the sun-beamed shadows my mind went back to my roots. As a child, I played in the woods for hours on end. My imagination soared between the branches. And my energy and creativity flowed with every step I took. It was there where I felt like I could accomplish anything, where I felt strong and confident, and where I felt healthy. And here I was once again in the mindset I needed to continue to take on.
Thirdly: have a place of refuge
My childhood goal for optimum health gave me a run for my money. My body has confused me over and over; funny how that works. If God wants me to have good health, He’s not going to give it to me on a silver platter. He knows I’m smart. He knows that if I want it bad enough, I’m going to use the abilities He gave me to figure it out. A challenge indeed, but also a way to build character. There must be something He wants me to learn in all this.
With that said, when I face a new challenge with my health, I head to the woods and fold my hands. I can’t stress enough how many times I’ve heard Him speak and direct my path of who I need to talk to next, what to try, or even getting a last-minute appointment. It’s been in my special sanctuary where I get instructions on what cards to play next.
God puts our special place of refuge in each of our hearts. My special place is in the outdoors, walking down a lined path of trees. Yours may be the beach, the mountains, the lake, the prairie, the park, the farm, or the river. Think of where you feel your best in nature, then go there for a dose of grace. You just may find your card strategy in reaching your goals and get a rekindle under your feet.
All in all
The grace you give yourself is what will help you have a winning hand no matter what cards you hold. Don’t underestimate yourself, you have gears you’re not even aware of. Just remember that whatever you’re facing it’s important in finding grace to be good to yourself, Get in the right mindset and have a place of refuge. Most of the time, you just need to look at the cards differently and be creative. All in all, finding grace is all you need to succeed.
Time management a thing of the past? Never! What are you doing in between the numbers? In other words, how are you spending your time when you’re not working? If you were to look back on your life do you see any regrets?
The saying “Time is money” seeps into my heart every time I hear a life end prematurely, or when I hear of a sobering diagnosis of a family member, or a grave attack on the innocent. Let me ask you this: Do you truly and honestly value your time? How dare I ask that question! No matter our race, age, religion, pocketbook, or sex we all have time.
Time management tips and sex?
Sex has a lot to do with time. Not physical sex. Got ya there, but sex as in sexagesimal.
Wikipedia assured me that sexagesimal has nothing to do with actual sex, but it has a lot to do with time. In the 3rd millennium BC sexagesimal was defined as a numerical system for time having a base of 60.
Sexagesimal helped us put numbers on the clock. What we do in-between those numbers defines how we live. The choices we make affect how we use our time.
Regrets, what are they?
Regrets happen when you feel sad or sorry for something you did or didn’t do…with your time. If you ‘Google’ “regrets in life” you’ll find a slew of articles. One of those articles was about a nurse, who cared for people on their deathbeds. She had a lot of conversations with her patients about regrets. What’s interesting is that she heard a lot of the same thing.
The most common regrets include:
To of had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I didn’t work so hard.
To of had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
To let myself be happier.
Did any of those regrets strike a chord with you? Scary to think that one of those could be our regret someday. But we don’t have to think that way. We can take charge of our time between the numbers and use them to better ourselves and the people around us so that when we can live a grateful life of freedom.
5 time management tips to live a life without regrets
Praying has got to be the most effective way to live a life without regret. Our Creator made us, He knows us best. Let’s align our prayers with His will for us! When we do He will open doors, He will help us prosper. Makes me think of His truth in Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you a hope and future.” Ask Him to help you use your time and talents the way He designed us to.
Write out your priorities. Where do you want to spend your minutes, what type of work makes you feel productive, what relationships do you want to work on, and what can you do to work towards your passions. Writing things out on paper helps you see where you want to go. This exercise is great for getting to know yourself better.
3. Use a vision board
Vision boards are a great tool to help you stay focused on your goals so you don’t have any regrets. This is a fun project for yourself and even your family. A vision board allows you to dream big. Did you hear that? You have permission to put anything on your vision that you want! Simply put, a vision board is being able to see your goals and dreams. They are reachable, especially if you look at your board every day and do at least one step toward making that board come alive. You can find directions on how to make a vision board in my freebies.
4. Put the phone down
Seriously. The phone is distracting and it will prevent you from making things happen. This is especially true for our teens. It’s not just social media I’m talking about, which can be very debilitating, but it’s the meaningless crap people get wrapped into. Before they know it, 45 minutes passed. Give yourself time with your family. Set boundaries with your phone and do something that works towards your goals. The world has managed 2000 years without a cell phone. Incorporate a turn-off electronics day.
5. Schedule “solo time”
Learn to love discovering yourself, organize your thoughts, and listen to your heart. ‘Solo time’ or ‘Me time’ is actually one of my favorite times! This time rejuvenates me. It helps us clear our minds from the madness of the world and to refocus on what really matters. This time is a great time to love yourself. Talking positively to yourself with affirmations is effective and talking to yourself for that matter helps us solve problems and plan our day. There are some affirmations in my Freebies for you. A ‘solo day’ isn’t just to pamper yourself, but to challenge yourself and build self-confidence and courage. Try something new. Do a challenging workout. Create something amazing that you love. And don’t forget to journal.
Wrapping up time management tips
We all may experience a ‘regretful season’ in life. I know I have. How to fix more regrets in the future boils down to knowing yourself. Knowing yourself better helps you make smarter decisions so you won’t have any regrets. Build that self-confidence up so you have the courage to conquer your goals and dreams. Stop regret in its tracks. Notice what is happening. Be aware of your surroundings and keep moving forward.
Learn how to brighten a room for under $60. For most people, your home or office is where you spend the majority of your time. So it’s important that the room you spend a lot of time in makes you feel good. If you want to be a happier person, take a look around and brighten the room! I’ve got 8 great tips you can do today to transform a room for under $60.
The key to making these powerful yet simple suggestions work within a $60 budget or less is to do it yourself. There is greatness in DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects. For one, it helps your mind work more creatively. You simply have to pay better attention to what you’re doing, which makes your brain work a little harder and smarter. The second benefit to DIY is that it builds confidence. If you can make something happen with your hands and skills, it magically gives you more self-esteem! And the third plus with DIY is personal gratification. It’s okay to say “I did that!” When you transform a room, an object, or a landscape with a little sweat and hands-on, you’ll instantly feel fulfillment! We all need a bit of that in our everyday life.
Let’s get to work and make a space more cheerful! For where there is light, darkness can’t reside.
8 Amazing Tips on How to Brighten a Room
1 Clean up
First things first, clean up. Sure you can pay for a cleaning service to clean your house, but it can get pretty pricy. When you clean your own home, you not only get instant gratification, but you also get a workout! You might also find some things you misplaced, and you may even find money in the couch, pant pockets, or laundry. Do yourself a favor and take charge of your living space by cleaning it yourself. Cleaning the House: 5 Factors to Understand
2 Open the shades
Draw back the curtains. Natural light is healing to the soul. It improves your mood, helps your natural clock sync with nature, it helps us be more productive, and natural light even helps us focus. And the beauty of this tip is that it’s $0.00.
What if you don’t have a window? A great tip on how to brighten a room without a window is to get a nice size mirror. Its reflections mimic a window feel and actually make the room feel bigger than it is. A large mirror will go beyond our budget, so you must plan when you can go out and shop. Look for sales, smaller mirrors, head to the hobby store, or check out secondhand shops.
3 Buy yourself some flowers.
This doesn’t need to be a $40 bouquet. There are great flower deals at ALDI’s, Trader Joe’s, and even Costco. Don’t forget about your local roadside flower stands! You can get some amazing flowers for under $10. Why flowers? Flowers can help you know how to brighten a room in a pinch. They bring bright colors or softness into your home. A vase of flowers is welcoming and a lovely centerpiece. Grab an old mason jar and arrange a little sunshine for your kitchen island or end table. $7.
4 String lights
4 String lights aren’t just for Christmas. String lights bring light to the darkness. How to brighten a room without windows? You got it, string lights! They look kind of like fireflies! String lights are inexpensive for what they do. You can get your standard Christmas lights for around $12, if you purchase after Christmas you can get some amazing deals! I personally like to string them in a faux tree or along the fireplace mantel. You can also decorate around a window, line them vertically on a wall, or outline along the ceiling! There are endless options for string lights. There are of course the LED moving lights, those are fun, but they are not what I am talking about. I’m talking about the standard simple Christmas tree lights. You can get them in white too! $12.
5 Get some greens
Add some plants or faux greens. Putting a touch of green in your room brings the outdoors in. Even if it isn’t a real plant, there is something about green leaves that presents freshness and peace in a room. Plants can lower stress and anxiety, they can boost healing and energy levels, and plants have the ability to improve your mood. When it comes to indoor plants I struggle at times to give them what they need to thrive. So I simply head to a hobby shop and buy faux plants. I particularily wait until they are on sale. But if you can’t wait for sales, you can get some great faux ferns or pine boughs for under $14.
There’s nothing better than a coat of fresh paint. When some people think of cheerful colors they might pick red, yellow, orange, or purple. But in all honesty, simply go with white. If you want to know how to brighten a room with paint, especially without out windows, choose white! White is a canvas that anything goes with. If you like to change your mind about decorating, paint with white. White flows with the seasons and gives you a sense of cleanliness, freshness, and peace. If you need another color paint one wall with an accent color. Painting can be a bit more expensive, so it depends on the size of the room and the type of paint you buy. Let’s say 1 gallon of paint is $20. When you DIY, you’re saving even more money and honing in on a skill!
7 Add some tunes
Music is a great way to set the tone of a room. Play some music that will lift you up! Find your go-to tunes that will bring peace and calm to your heart. Music is essentially free if you have a radio. I know that’s old school, but it’s free. There are, of course, Spotify, iTunes, Sirius XM, and other music subscriptions, but when it comes to managing money know what subscriptions you have!
8 Wall prints
Need some simple yet powerful wall art? Head to Etsy and download some awesome wall prints. I personally like Scripture art. There is nothing more powerful than the Word of God. Displaying His truths sets the tone. When something feels off in your day, speak the Sword of the Spirit and command the darkness to flee in Jesus’ name! Seeing His promises daily helps you live out His promises, not to mention, memorize them. Just knowing His presence is with you is power and encouragement in itself. Why not display it on your walls? You can easily download scripture art or other prints off Etsy for about $2.50. Dig out an old frame from your closet and you’re good to go!
Let’s see how we did:
Cleaning – $0.00
Open the shades – $0.00
Flowers – $7.00
String Lights – $12.00
Faux plant – $14.00
Paint – $20.00
Music – $0.00
Wall prints – $2.50
GRANG TOTAL = $55.50
In conclusion to how to brighten a room
How to brighten a room can be done for less than $60. It’s a fun transformation that you can do in a day. And when you carry out the do-it-yourself mojo anything is possible and so gratifying, not to mention money-saving! Try these simple tips today and lift up your well-being in a bright and beautiful space.
Try this amazingly simple grain-free pasta salad recipe. Only seven ingredients and easy to make. Plus it has bacon! I love this recipe because it is versatile. Going gluten-free is hard enough, but grain-free is even more challenging. The beauty of this grain-free pasta salad recipe is that you can have for the main meal, use it as a Meatless Monday recipe, or you can serve it as a side dish to your favorite protein.
Let’s face it, grains can give your body inflammation. Yep. There is something about the grain that can wreak havoc on your digestive system, allergy response, skin, and even mood! If you have IBD, colitis, IBS, or Crohn’s disease, going grain-free might help your situation.
Chickpea pasta is simply chickpeas. There are no grains involved. My family uses Banza Rotini. The last time I looked, it was still available at Costco. Otherwise, you can look in your local grocer or get it online.
Some chickpea nutritional facts include being an excellent source of manganese and a great source of folate to name the top two. Manganese is important for your bone health, nerves, and is good for your thyroid to name a few. Folate is super important for red blood cell formation and healthy cell growth and function. It also helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and lowers blood pressure. Chickpeas in general are a good source of plant protein.
Some great chickpea benefits include helping to control blood sugar levels. They also help with weight loss by helping you feel full and to curb your cravings. Chickpeas are full of fiber which helps with digestion and to keep things moving! There are more benefits that you can find at Dr. Axe.
Grain-free Pasta Salad Recipe Go-to’s
This pasta salad recipe is awesome for lunches, camping meal ideas, main dishes, and side-dish. My family enjoys it with roasted chicken. Serve it warm or chilled, you could even add a dollop of hummus on top! This is a kid-friendly dish, meaning, there are not super bold flavors. Yet, you can make this dish you own by adding your favorite ingredients like diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, olives, or avocados.
Simple, delicious, and nutritious Grain-Free pasta salad recipe. Easy to make, only 7 simple ingredients, and a great side dish to compliment any protein. Serve alone as a "Meatless Monday" dish. This recipe gives you the flexiblity to be creative!
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Keyword gluten-free pasta salad, pasta salad, pasta salad no mayo, simple pasta salad
Prep Time 35minutes
Cook Time 12minutes
Total Time 47minutes
2cupsBanza Rotini Made from Chickpeas Grain-free Pasta
1/2package bacon, cooked and chopped
1 1/2cupschopped broccoli
1/2cupGreek salad dressing, your choice, but prefer "Ken's Simply Vinaigrette Greek"
3/4cup feta cheese or non-dairy feta cheese
1tspsalt to taste
Boil pasta in a large saucepan and cook until noodles are soft. Drain pasta and wash cold water over it. Dump cooked pasta into a bowl.
Lay bacon strips on a lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove cooked bacon and blot with paper towels, then chop into smaller pieces.
Chop washed broccoli. You may either leave broccoli raw or you can steam it, your choice.
Add broccoli and bacon to the pasta bowl and toss.
Add olive oil and salad dressing then toss.
Sprinkle salt on top, and add feta cheese. Tossing is optional.
This gluten-free pasta, grain-free pasta, is an excellent source of protein. It’s a fantastic main meal or side dish. Add tomatoes, olives, or diced avocados to make it your own. Use any kind of pasta to make for your family. Simple, delicious, and good for your body. Serve it with roasted chicken and you’ve got yourself a meal.
Hope you enjoy this amazing recipe. I know your body will love you for it. Be sure to check out my other great gluten-free recipes to go along with this dish!
Stress free moving sounds amazing and IS possible, the trick is to know what stresses you out and beat it at its own game. Moving is one of the biggest stress events in someone’s life. It’s no small task whether you’re moving down the street or across the country; there is nothing easy about moving. And when things get hard, stress is sure to surface. I recently moved and was caught off guard. For some reason, in my mind, I thought moving was a matter of taking our stuff from one place to another, simple, right? Yet, moving is so much more than that. Learn what creates stress when moving and what I did to relieve it.
The #1 thing you must do for stress free moving
This post isn’t about packing boxes or creating piles of “keep”, “donate”, “recycle”, or “pitch”. Let’s imagine that the boxes and furniture are dropped off at the new house. You have packed up your old house and are now in the new home. At this moment in time, your mind is swirling: I need to make the bed, clean the toilets, wash down the kitchen, change the address, set up the internet, grocery shop, get the kid’s rooms figured out, etc. However, if you’re like me, the very first thing my mind gravitates towards is getting the environment functional so I can accomplish all these jobs and get organized. In other words, if my “workspace” isn’t pleasant, I won’t be pleasant.
Step 1 in stress free moving: Home Odor 101
Satisfy the nose. This is the air you breathe! What does your new home smell like? Are you happy with that? If not, what can you do right now to fix it?
The smell in our new home was not good. I said goodbye to stress free moving because the smell was driving me nuts! The home is 19 years old, as you know with age comes odor. The first thing my nosed grabbed was the numerous scented candles the previous owner lit. I actually asked her about all the candles when we walked through the house for the first time, and she told me she was stressed and candles calmed her. Well, she certainly was stressed a lot, and come to find out, I think the house stressed her out!
Most of the time scented candles smell good, but when you get too much of a good thing, nothing is good. Yes, candles can help the house smell better in the short term, but it’s just masking the real problem. Hence, there was a smell in the basement, which gave me a sense that mold was present.
HOW TO FIX THE SMELLS
There were a few things we did to fix the smell issue in our new home. For the candle smell, we ended up painting the walls and getting new carpet. I know painting and new carpet isn’t something we all can do right away, but a good wash of the walls and a carpet clean will help! You can rent carpet cleaners if you want to do it yourself.
As for the basement and the musty/mold smell. We hired a mold guy who found the mold right away. Please note; bleach is not going to kill all molds, you can actually make it worse. Hire a professional. The other thing we did to help with the home odor was get a dehumidifier. This helps prevent mold from growing and aids the musty smell. In addition, I placed bowls of baking soda around the basement. After all that, the smell is gone! You can also try new charcoal briquettes. The fresh charcoal will absorb the odors. Take an empty coffee can or decorative container and fill it up with the new briquettes. Change them out every so often.
Step 2 in stress free moving: Good Drinking Water
This may sound simple but how to move stress free is to get your water working for you. Normally, I wouldn’t talk about this because we never had a problem before, but since we did this time, I felt I should address it. We moved from city water to well water. I was not prepared for the challenge of drinking water. Thankfully we were involved with heavy iron content, in which we would need an iron curtain. However, the new home has a water softener; this was something we were not used to. Drinking softened water is not my thing; my body clearly told me to stop. So now what?
To keep a long story short, after I tried many options including bottled water and various water filters, we ended up filtering the well water twice for our drinking water and I love it! I have a post on this if you want to learn more about how we did it, you can find it here.
6 Bonus steps I don’t want you to forget
Since recently going through this experience I didn’t want you to forget about a few small things that make a BIG difference in moving stress free. Here are an additional 6 items you want to pay attention to.
1. Kitchen cabinets – be aware!
Other issues in a home you should keep your eye on are the kitchen cabinets. Are they sticky? Do they have handles? Do they slam? A quick fix for us was a good scrubbing with Dawn Dish Soap and putting soft pads on the doors so they didn’t slam. We still don’t have handles, but we can easily add those later. If you’re handy you can install a soft-close on the cabinet door. The kitchen clearly stressed me out.
Be aware of the lighting. Where are the dark spaces? LED light bulbs or LED lights do the trick. Again, these are quick fixes until you get your more permanent plan. In a pickle? Grab a box of string lights and have fun with them. String lights also lighten the load and can reduce stress!
Clean everything. Everything should get cleaned unless you want to live with the previous owner’s dead skin cells. This includes the windows and the sills. If you can clean before you move in this would be ideal. If you can’t clean, hire it out or clean after you move. I know cleaning the house is not fun, but get a jumpstart on your housecleaning from the get-go!
4. Change the filters
Make sure you change the furnace filter and clean out the dryer. Change the refrigerator filter while you’re at it, then you know how long you have until it needs to be changed again. Please check the batteries on the smoke detectors.
5. Window coverings
A good clean of the blinds or drapes would be recommended if you have them. If you don’t have window coverings, do you want blinds or curtains? We lived in our house without window coverings for a good three months before we decided on curtains. Please note, we moved to the country.
One more thing about window coverings, natural light does wonders for your mental wellbeing. Don’t be afraid to open the shades during the day and allow light to come in. You can learn more about natural light in my post: How to Have a Happy Family: 3 Revolutionary Steps
6. Find your space. This is SUPER important!
One last critical step to how to move stress free is to find your space. This may sound silly, but everyone needs to find their private space in their home. This is a place where you can go and be yourself without judgment. For instance, I have a little room in the basement where I write my blogs and create my Etsy products. It’s a little messy but organized in my mind. It is my playground, where I can be without having to think about toys, order, and other house details. Be sure to set boundaries so you can have some time for yourself and relax.
Wrapping it up
Moving stress free is possible. When I move again the 3 things I would do differently is to have the mold guy come before we moved our stuff in. The second step would be to check the water. If I have the time, I would for sure take the time to clean the new empty house before unloading our stuff. Moving isn’t my first rodeo. I have moved at least 10 times in my life, however, this move was by far the most stressful!
Remember, you don’t have to change everything at once. This was hard for me to do in this stressful house. Be strong and live in the house for a while. Pay attention to your patterns. When it’s time, put your own spin on your new home. And don’t forget to introduce yourself to the neighbors. Enjoy your new space!