Time Management Is Reality Management!

 

In Latin you would say “Ordo ab chao” = “order to chaos”; and most of us struggle with trying to make this a reality.

Father Mike Schmitz makes a very good point about this and I would like to share it with all of you before we continue.

 

I don’t know about you but when the discussion of time management came up before I was sick, I would procrastinate. Now because time management is key to being able to live a full life with my illness, I don’t have that luxury. Unfortunately, it usually leaves me feeling like this:

 

So as far as practical ways to help me manage time I have compiled a list:

  • Binder Systems   help you organize your thoughts and write things down.
  • Cozi App (You and your family can add to shopping lists, calanders, to do lists all for free)
  • Bible Study Apps such as: Laudate, Holy Bible app, and millions others

This is just some of the ways you can help yourself with time management. Remember, its okay if you need extra help from a life coach or maybe a physical therapist. The effort is more important than the circumstance. It is important to make time for God in one way or another and ask him to help you to manage your time; when you surrender your reality to God, you make a great step in your walk with Christ.

Here is some scripture to help you :

Ecclesiastes 3:1 

Sirach 35:26

Ephesians 5:15

John 7:6

Sirach 29:3

1 Thessalonians 5:17 

Normally I would include links however I feel that since I am encouraging Bible Study, I will let you seek so that you shall find what you need.

Creating Your Own Industrial Revolution!

The stress of life can cause anyone to fall behind and, for those of us with chronic illness, we fight this battle daily. I mean that if you work full time, have chronic pain (or maybe your child is chronically ill and, if so, I pray for you and your family), if you have small children (or large ones), pets or a hobby if you’re lucky; you end up falling behind.

Proverbs 31:18 States:

 

We all do different things to benefit our families and sometimes the pay out is not a monetary one (even if it can be also that as well). If you are a stay-at-home wife or mom, you are worth just as much as you would be if you were working. If you collect disability, that’s the insurance for if you did work. If you work full time or part time you are truly blessed; as are all you wonderful business owners and women with side hustles. No matter what kind of woman you are, we all get into a funk that tells us we are not. So I gathered some Scripture to help remind you just how awesome you are and how well you are doing, despite what anyone else says.

I want you to always remember: No matter how dirty your house is, or how angry your husband is, or how bad your kids are acting; YOU’RE DOING GREAT! You see, it is in these times we must ask God to help change our perspective so we can remember how blessed we are! I have put together some scripture to help all of us during these times of grief and self loathing.

Home Making and Chronic Illness: For when you’re not feeling so INDUSTRIOUS!

 

I have to admit, the reason it has taken me this long to write this post is because I had to work out some personal issues before I could share my story with the world.

I wish my pouting was this romantic!

So I guess on that note, I should just stop beating around the bush and say what I need to say. I did not want to write this because I was embarrassed. I felt as though industrious and my name could not even be in the same sentence. So I pouted about it for a few days until the Holy Spirit touched my heart.

I happen to have the opportunity to go through my Home Management Binder, and I did not realize how tracking task could even be this helpful! I realized how much I actually accomplished!

Colossians 1:29 (NLT)

That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.

When I saw this verse it was like God spoke to me. I realized. I work 35 hours a week, I am on a board, I write this blog (which is my ministry), I teach CCD, I also make attempts to clean our house, make sure we have dinner, food, and that is just the tip of the iceberg!

I want all of my friends out there with Chronic Illness to remember that you are more because you do it with less. I also want you to know that even small accomplishments are big ones. Even if you don’t work! If you work to take of your home or help with your husband job, or even have a side job, or just take care of the kids you’re doing it!

Just because you aren’t perfect doesn’t mean you are not modeling your life after perfection. Honestly once you admit that fat right there, you are stepping in the right direction!

2 Chronicles 15:7 (NLT)

But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”

Home Making and Chronic Illness: Idling or Resting??

 

So after three days of fighting Fibro and CVS, I finally managed to completely clean my room and check it off my cleaning schedule! I am so happy! However, everything does have it’s price: I was up at 1 am for about 45 mins with weird muscle spasms/charlie horse/dead leg thing happening in my calves and I was up again at 3 am, getting sick because of my CVS (this is a reoccurring theme though). It was unpleasant, to say the least. But through all the pain and vacuuming, I learned more than I ever could imagine. You see, Proverbs 31:27 talks about the bread of Idleness and what I did not understand was that there is a difference between idleness and rest.

According to the dictionary Rest is defined

noun

1.

the refreshing quiet or repose of sleep:

a good night’s rest.

2.

refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor:

to allow an hour for rest.

3.

relief or freedom, especially from anything that wearies, troubles, or disturbs.”

While Idleness is defined as:

“noun

1.

the quality, state, or condition of being lazy, inactive, or idle:

His lack of interest in the larger world and his consummate idleness were the causes of their dreadful divorce.

adjective, idler, idlest.

1.

not working or active; unemployed; doing nothing:

idle workers.

2.

not spent or filled with activity:

idle hours.

3.

not in use or operation; not kept busy:

idle machinery.

4.

habitually doing nothing or avoiding work; lazy.

5.

of no real worth, importance, or significance:

idle talk.

6.

having no basis or reason; baseless; groundless:

idle fears.

7.

frivolous; vain:

idle pleasures.
verb (used without object), idled, idling.

10.

to pass time doing nothing.

11.

to move, loiter, or saunter aimlessly:

to idle along the avenue.

12.

(of a machine, engine, or mechanism) to operate at a low speed,disengaged from the load.
verb (used with object), idled, idling.

13.

to pass (time) doing nothing (often followed by away):

to idle away the afternoon.

14.

to cause (a person) to be idle:

The strike idled many workers.

15.

to cause (a machine, engine, or mechanism) to idle:

I waited in the car while idling the engine.
noun

16.

the state or quality of being idle.

17.

the state of a machine, engine, or mechanism that is idling:

a cold engine that stalls at idle.”
It was not until I read these definitions, did I understand that I was not being idle because I sat down to either prevent pain or because of pain. I also learned a definition of a new word as well:
I had finally realized that I had been incorporating this philosophy to my life and not even realizing it! So YAY ME! I also conquered my personal demons when applying this way of thinking to my daily life: I learned that I am more productive if I work WITHIN my Illness and not AROUND it. I am not a failure if I am sick and can’t do something right away! I am not being a good wife only if I do not adjust to my new normal. I am not being true to myself only if I continue to run around and get nothing done! So I want to say to everyone out there who is suffering from a chronic illness of any kind: God wants you to rest. If you do not, you cannot be the woman from Proverbs 31 He has called you to be. You must not only learn to rest but to accept that sometimes doing less is more.

Some More  Scripture to help you in these times of struggle are:

Isaiah 26:9
 In the night I search for you;
in the morning(Hebrew within me.) I earnestly seek you.
For only when you come to judge the earth
will people learn what is right.
Even in our pain if we earnestly seek the Lord, he will comfort us. We must always have faith in that.
Isaiah 14:7
But finally the earth is at rest and quiet.
Now it can sing again!
I also learned that when you do finally rest, you can do more! Essential-ism needs to be applied to life with Chronic Illness and God agrees. You are not less because you can’t do more. You are more because you do it with less.

Homemaking and Chronic Illness: The Reality

 

 

 

Once again, still not me but might as well be me. Yesterday, I had a terrible flare up. It was awful; I couldn’t hold my legs up, my throat felt like it was closing and it was so hard for me to swallow! Not to mention MUSCLE SPASMS EVERYWHERE! So, to be quite honest, I did not get anything done. Or so I thought. When looking at the Home Management Binder To-do list, I realized I still had managed to accomplish 5 of my unending list of tasks. I also realized that, well, some tasks are just going to take me a little bit longer. However, despite my flare up, I did manage to fall asleep. All I could think was a prayer: “God when I wake up please let be able to feel better tomorrow.”

Look, I have been experiencing a flare up for the last three days. It’s BS! I am going to be completely honest: it sucks! However, because of God I have the ability to get up and try again. If I have realized anything it is that in this adjustment I must accept the following facts:

  • Tasks will transfer over
  • Some days nothing is getting done
  • It is okay to REST
  • Remember that if you are tracking your to-do list you will see you are getting things done.
  • And of course remember:

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.”

Revelation 21:4

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

So all I can do is try again today but I know that the Lord is close and He will help me fight this pain.

Home Making with Fibro

This is super intimidating for me. I have to admit when I was diagnosed I had already been dealing with the pain for a while. However, the depression that comes with the pain caused me to become apathetic to my whole situation. I ignored everything and everyone I cared about. I wasn’t sure how to do deal with the pain and I struggled with accepting that I was always going to be hurting.

However when readjusting to life I realized that my house isn’t going to clean itself. Not that my husband has not picked up a TON of the slack but still. My husband have a division of chores that worked for us. But when I got sick every time I would get up to clean I would get overwhelmed.

^^Not me but pretty much sums up me every time  I would try to tackle my house since climbing out of this depression.

But I have a standard to meet and I have to adjust it so that I can still be the best wife possible without giving in to this depression.

But God tells us in Psalm 73:26

26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.
So with that amazing motivation I decided to get practical!
I chose to create a Home Management Binder that would be perfect for some one like me:
Here are the Printables and Recommendations:
  • Get yourself a Columnar Pad. It costs about $10 at Walmart, but when you divide that by 12 it is cheaper than any printables with the price of ink and it allows for you plenty of room. Click here to purchase! 
  • Also get your self some Dividers and Find the cheapest ones! I found these on Walmart.com but they have cheaper ones in store! Click here to purchase. 

:

  • It should be kept simple! Do not overload it. You are better off creating a separate binder or that continuously adding to the Home Management binder. The Following Should be kept in binder.

1.Groceries

Home Inventory

Pantry Inventory

Fridge Inventory

I make attempts to stock pile and use coupons. Due to Fibrofog I tend to forget what I have and don’t. This will help me keep track and fight the fog!

2.  Daily Tasks

Ever feel like the day is in charge of you? Set that right by using this free printable daily planner to plan your day!

Click here to get it! 

I used this one because it allows me to have a small set of proiorites. That way I can say wow I did what I had to and extra with out overloading myself with tasks which is something I am known for!

3. Bills

4. Cleaning

This check list is great because it allows yo to check off indivual tasks that need to be done in a week very add and fibro friendly list!

5. Emergency&Important Info

Dates to remember

Emergency Info 

Password Keeper

6. Misc (stuff that comes and goes. Do not let it REMAIN)

For number 6 I just used a divider and lined paper.

If you need more or less for you Binder, this site has the most friendly of printables!

CLICK HERE 

Building Foundations on Uneven Ground

” It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; It is the construction of the foundation that will hold the test of time” – David Allen Coe

Now that my husband and I can start laying the foundation for our lives, we have become so overwhelmed we end up slowly but surely making little to no progress. However the Holy Spirit touched my heart and I realized “If I can adjust to being sick then I can go back to my life slowly but surely. I have faith that God will guide me there”. As if a light bulb went off instantly.

But how does one just get up and go after being down for so long. The first step is always asking for help. So I prayed “God please guide me through the readjustment process”.

I knew that my first step would be to reestablish God as my foundation for my life.

1 Corinthians 19-20.

19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself,

20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.

When we become Christians we are to allow Christ into all aspects of our lives. Now when you get a Chronic Illness this task becomes more and more difficult to over come.

How does God want me to build this foundation?

1 Corinthians 3:11

11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.

FANTASTIC!!! I don’t have to build the foundation at all! God has already done it for me. I just now have to find the strength to stand on the foundation and trust it to hold me up. This is easier said than done.

However God has given me instructions on what it means for me as a woman to stand on this very trusting and solid foundation. All I have to do is follow the instructions in Proverbs 31. Join me over the next few weeks or however long this takes me. As I rediscover what it means to be a Proverbs 31 woman with a chronic illness.

Praying for Money?

On a message board on Facebook, (which has been one of the most amazing support groups ever) one of the members asked if it was okay to pray for money. Is it okay to pray for money?

This was my opinion: “I believe that praying for money for a need like a light bill would be okay but it would be wrong to ask for a million dollars”

The Holy Spirit touched my heart to go searching for answers.

Matthew 22:18-21 New International Version (NIV)

18 “But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”21 “Caesar’s,” they replied.Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.””

So this above verse is about taxes but it makes some very good points about money. “Whose image is this?” Jesus said. The point he is making is that money is a tool of the state. The state is just another way the world and the enemy try to make you stumble of your path. So as we can see very clearly, Jesus says money has no place in the kingdom.

So now we know that Jesus opinion of money is that it has no place in God’s Kingdom. But we do live in the world and we are subject to that hence Jesus clearly saying that we should still pay our taxes.

So as the Holy Spirit and I continued on my journey of discovery, I can across this verse.

Matthew 6:31-32New International Version (NIV)

“31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”

This verse touched my heart. I think that it is interesting that this is the verse God has placed in front of me for this but I digress. When God sees that we are in need he will provide. God does not say anything about wants. Another thing is that this time of year to have this verse make a comment about how we should not be like pagans who “run after all these things”.  God wants us to focus on our needs any wants provided are a blessing.  God has no problem with us praying for anything. He wants us to pray, you may not get what you want but they always say “be careful what you pray for you just might get it”.

What about presents? What about praying to provide presents for our children and families? Well remember that pagans run after these things. However I know that like myself, we want to give our love ones the best blessings God will allow us to provide.

Proverbs 16:19 (CPDV)

“It is better to be humbled with the meek than to divide spoils with the arrogant.”

God wants us to be humble. God does not want us to be attached to the world.

Sirach 20:31 “Presents and gifts blind the Judges and silenced their mouths, turning them aside from their task of correction”

We all have a God given task. We must work to not allow ourselves to blinded by moneys and gifts.

 

After my study I can to final conclusion. God wants us to have faith in him so it is okay to pray for money. God wants us to converse all of our wants and needs to him. If it is a need God will provide. A want is a blessing, we ask to be blessed all the time. To even ask for a million which sounds so excessive but if you were a banker maybe it is not. It is circumstantial. It is never wrong to talk to God about anything.  When we become Christians we are born again. To much time wasted in asking God for possessions will not allow you to grow in your faith.

CCD Week 7: A Real Act Of Mercy

 

ccd7

So I do not know if there are any other CCD teachers out there who also have to do “keeping our promises” ( which is a response to dealing with the issues of child abuse in the church), but I would love suggestions. A few weeks ago we were covering boundaries. I was shocked by the actions of my fourth graders.

“Why do we have to learn this?!”

“This is a girl problem!”

“This is stupid”

“Rape doesn’t happen around here” (Yes they said rape I was shocked they knew what this was however this student has older siblings)

I could go on with this list however this is not what I want to dwell on.

I ended up racking my brain for weeks trying to figure out what I was going to do to reach these kids. And with Sunday being that last day in the Year of Mercy, I finally was inspired by the holy spirit. I wrote them this letter:

(I probably went a little thick with the Catholic Guilt)

To My 4th Graders,

Today is the last day in the Year of Mercy. I know that you guys enjoyed learning about Mercy, we did fun projects and I really thought you guys grasped the concept. However when it came time to put mercy into real life situations, I noticed you guys did not grasp the concept. I want you guys to remember back to when we discussed boundaries with the third graders (we have to do the same keep our promises as the third graders and with it being such heavy subjects its nice to have a group of adults in the room). I want everyone to remember their behavior that day as I explain to you the following:

The definition of Mercy is: an act of compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone when it is in one’s power to harm.

I know that we do not like talking about “keeping our promises”. They are not fun topics but they are not jokes either. I head the class says things like “this is a girl problem” “it can’t happen to us” “boring”. Along with all of your moaning and groaning.

I want you all to know that the reason we have to discuss this uncomfortable topics is because it can happen to you. And if  you guys are uneducated then you are unprotected. Abuse happens to 1-4 girls and 1-6 boys. With those odds that means at that abuse can happen to at least four people in this room right now. It also means that when you make jokes about it you are reinforcing the idea that abuse is not a big deal. When it is. Joking can make a person uncomfortable, and it can persuade them to keep quiet and not reach out for help.

It was an unmerciful act and unacceptable behavior. You guys are not in trouble I just want you to take this seriously. So today we will make up for our unmerciful behavior.

We are going to write cards with encouraging words for the children at our local child advocacy center.  This center is less than a mile away from our church, because it happens to kids in our town everyday. It also can happen to you and we do have the power to make a difference with our small acts of mercy. It is easy for you guys to forget the luxury of having a stuffed animal to sleep with at night when you are afraid. I pray every night that none of you will ever be afraid like the children at the center. We will also be writing a thank you card for the women who work at the Carriage House (our church’s thrift store), who donated these stuffed animals to help you with your act of mercy.

I want you all to know that I love you guys and I would not trade any of you. I just want you to understand that this behavior is not okay and that the first step in making a difference is to change your thinking. I am going to read from Proverbs 3 to show you what the Bible says about your behavior.

 

After reading the note there was silence but once we got started the kids were really happy to help. One even teared up and when we ran out of our 25 stuffed animals they were upset that we had run out. “But Ms. Bella, that means only 25 kids get animals”, I had to reassure them that I would collect more animals. My 8th grade aids and my teacher aid we excited about this. It really did touch my heart.

But it gets better. You see that picture up top? The one of the small basket of stuffed animals. Well what I never expected was how much a small basket of toys could really mean. My friend is a social worker and she took me down to drop off the animals. When speaking to the other case worker at the center she got choked up, we all did. And when she told me that we could always bring more because those would be gone pretty quick my heart sank.

So we will continue to collect animals and to help these kids, I never expected this to be such a touching experience. My heart goes out to those children, and I pray for them every night. So my class and I will continue to collect animals as long as people continue to give them, because God has touch our hearts. I really did reach not only my students but adults and kids in need. I consider this a teaching win!

CCD Week 6: We Do NOT worship Mary

ccdweek6

 

I know it may seem that this weeks craft and activity was boring but we have something my kids and I needed to discuss.

You see last week in our review one of the questions was “Do we worship Mary”. Unfortunately my class answered yes in unison. Time for a sit down.

First we all had to explain who is Mary. That my kids knew

  1. Mother of Jesus
  2. Answer of Prayers
  3. Saint

Next we needed to discuss the difference between honor and worship. So more thinking questions for the kids.

  1. Did Mary create the Earth?
  2. Do we praise her when things go right in our lives when we did not pray to her?
  3. When we pray do our intentions go to her or to Jesus (unless of course we are praying to her)

So I then had to explain to my point because they looked at me like I had ten heads. We pray to God, we praise him, we credit God for the things that go on in our lives (good or bad). So do we do those things for Mary?

The answer is no.

We do however honor her. There is a simple reason we honor Mary. It is so simple, because God honored her. She is a model of submitting your will to God. It is frightening to be a young unwed teenager mother now let alone during her time. God picked Mary for a reason. Her strong faith, she trusted God even though the future looked bleak. This is a great model for all Catholics. So God had honored her by choosing her to be the mother of Jesus and who are we to argue.

One of my students was like “Now I actually know the answer because people’s parents have asked me this”. That made me sad but I will avoid that soap box.

We made blue crosses and the kids decorated them. In HONOR of our Blessed Mother.

 

We then finished our year of Mercy Project:

mercyproject