Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrating with Music

It is week 2 of the Making Your Home a Haven Fall Challenge. Here is this week's challenge: Play soft music everyday in your home. Choose worship, classical or another form of peaceful music that the family enjoys. Focus on using peaceful words and maintaining peaceful relationships. Remind your family to avoid seething anger, tattling, criticism or back talk. Role model gentleness this week.

21And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22But the father said to his servants, 'Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate. 25"Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant.27And he said to
him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.' Luke 15:21-27 NIV

As I thought today about music, I came across the parable of the prodigal son. A story I know many are very familiar with. The part of the passage that stuck out to me today is when the younger son has come back and the father has taken him back as son. The father orders for the fatted calf to be killed, to bring the best robe, and to celebrate.

We are told that the older son hears the music and dancing and asks what is happening. We read later that the older son is upset, has he not been keeping his father's will this whole time? Where is his party? And this picture is of God and his children. When those who are out wandering in this world come to know Christ, God rejoices! He has adopted you as a song or daughter in Christ! We are brothers and sisters! Music is to celebrate.

But why doesn't the older brother celebrate? He had two choices, he could rejoice that his brothe
r who was lost had been found, or he could become bitter at all the work he had done and received no reward (or so he thinks). It makes me think about how often I, instead of joining someone else's celebration, become bitter, wondering, "where is my prize? where is my blessing?" We become JEA-lous (or as we like to call it, JEA). And jealousy is not becoming because God tells us that love is not jealous. We should make the conscious choice to choose celebration instead of jealousy.

Let us all remember to join in each member of our families little and big celebrations. Let us all rejoice daily remembering that we are children of God! We
can do this with dancing, humming, singing, or shouting at the top of our lungs "Hallelujah!" As I play music in my home this month, I will remember the joy salvation brings and remember to celebrate all the little victories and little blessings of those around me, not becoming JEA.


Make sure to visit Courtney's Blog at WomenLivingWell to see her tips for Making Your Home Sing
Also check out all the other bloggers who have linked up there!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Stocking Up Saturday

So the fridge is about empty, so I went to the store to use up all the October coupons because with the wedding, this will be my last trip until we get back from Mexico. I made sure the dairy products weren't expiring until much after we got back and went to Borders, Target, CVS, and Martin's.

Target was probably the best trip of the day stocking up on all kinds of things from cleaning products to cream cheese...
Brief Summary of the Deals at Target:
Total: $55.63
Philadelphia Cream Cheese: 4 @ .37 ea
Up&Up Household wipes: $.99
Betty Crocker cake mix and icing: 16 @ .75 ea
Kraft Individual String Cheese: 4 for FREE
GE Reveal light bulbs: 2 @ .59 ea
Kleenex Tissues: 3 @ 1.09 ea
Kraft Natural Shredded Mozzarella: 2 @ .67 ea

Next I hit up Martins to use up this month's Stonyfield coupons and to use my 4 $1 coupon doublers for the week Considering this trip was almost exclusively organic products and the cost before savings was 82.46, $42.86 was not bad!
Brief Summary of the Deals at Martins:
Newman's Own Pasta Sauce: 2 @ $1 ea
Hunt's 24oz Ketchup: 1 @ FREE
Ronzoni Healthy Harvest: 1 @ .25
Starkist Tuna Pouches: 4 @ .29
Dr. Oetker's Pizza: 4 @ 1.99 ea
Stonyfield Yogurt: 3 @ .27 ea
Stonyfield Organic Half Gallon Milk (used doubler): 1 @ 1.49
4 pack stonyfield yogurts (be healthy and probiotic): 2 @ .99 ea
Wholesome Agave Nectar (used doubler): 1 @ 2.29
Arrowhead Mills Corn Meal: 1 @ 1.69
Arrowhead Mills Whole Wheat Flour: 1 @ 1.99
Clif Bar: 1 @ .49
Clif Bar 6 pack (used doubler): 1 @ 1.79
Muir Glen Pizza Sauce: 2 @ .99 ea
Dagoba Chocolate (used doubler): 1 @ .49
Horizon Organic Chocolate Milk: 2 @ 2.59 ea

Then I stopped at CVS last and picked up a few things. I was disappointed that they are still out of the electric toothbrush from last week that I got a raincheck for, but hopefully it will come in soon. I did pick up 2 Schick Hydro 5 razors, a massaging Bengay Muscle stick, 2 bottles of Renu Sensitive contact solution, and found our FAVORITE freezy pops (Wyler's Italian Ice Pops--usually only at Walgreen's in the summer) on 75% off clearance for .49 ea!!!All in total, after ECB's I spent 2.93 for everything pictured.

The mini planner and screen protectors were given to me at border's for the teacher appreciation day so I will probably use those as prizes for my students. While I was there, I picked up a copy of Pioneer Woman Cooks at 25% with my discount and am really excited to use it when we get back from Mexico.

If you haven't been to Ree Drummond's Site, I'd suggest going over there, and for those of you (like me) who love cookbooks with pictures, she takes very artistic pictures of EACH STEP of her recipes. You can get a taste over at her blog, The Pioneer Woman.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Light of the World

It is week 1 of the Making Your Home a Haven Fall Challenge. Here is this week's challenge: Go buy an extra large candle and light a candle everyday in your home. I will be starting mine in the morning! But you can start yours at dinner time. Do what makes sense for your family. I will be placing mine in the kitchen - the main hub of my home. Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home.

I love fall. I eagerly anticipate it each year. I add to my favorite pumpkin recipes each year and last year began collecting fall home decor when I was sharing a house with 3 other girls. This weekend kicked it off in my home with making homemade hurricane vases, baking up some pumpkin roll and pumpkin dinner rolls on Saturday, and going to the Orchard to pick apples with some girlfriends on Sunday.

This year I'm in my own apartment, and along with eagerly awaiting fall, I am eagerly awaiting my wedding to my fiance, Brandon. Over the past few weeks being 4.5 hours away from him has been a struggle. In addition to that (and planning our frugal wedding), I've started a new teaching job and moved to a new town and state. All very exciting-but possibly overwhelming experiences. I've struggled with loneliness in a new town without a home church yet.

So as I shopped for a great, big, new Yankee Candle to burn for the Making Your Home A Haven challenge, I began to think of light, and how Jesus is the light of the world. I couldn't help but think of a popular praise and worship song:

"Light of the world, you stepped down into darkness, opened my eyes let me see, beauty that made this heart adore you, hope of a life spent with you" -Here I Am to Worship, Chris Tomlin

And then I began to realize just how selfish I was to drudge around all day, sulking over my feelings of sadness and loneliness. How can I be lonely when Jesus is the light? He came into the ultimate darkness of a world full of sin to give us the hope of a life with him. Not a hope which is the chance of salvation, but hope of the promise of salvation. The kind of hope that looks forward confidently, not sheepishly.

So the crowd answered him, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" So Jesus said to them, "The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." -John 12:34-36 ESV

The candle is lit in my dining room to pray for peace for my soon-to-be marriage and household, but also to remind me that I am not alone, I will fear no evil, because Christ is the light to all my darkness.