Archives for December 2013

How To Organize Your “To Do” List

Does anyone else ever feel overwhelmed by your “To Do” list?  Here is a quick and simple way to organize your  list.  This list will help you to prioritize the most important items and hopefully let some things go too!  If you are trying to get yourself organized for the New Year, this idea might help you out.

All you need is a blank sheet of copy paper and a pencil or pen.

Here is what is looks like:

This is the front-

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This is the back-

IMG_3799Directions:

1.Fold the paper in fourths.

2. You can personalize this list by choosing categories that work for you.  On the front, I labeled each fourth with Personal, Home, Family and Need Help (Things I need Hubby to help with).  The Back side of the list is labeled Daily Must Do’s for Me, Big Projects and Things to Shop For.  I found dividing the list into these categories helped me mentally organize my list, but you could also just make one list with all categories combined.

3. In each fourth of the paper I made three columns labeled-“Must Do”, “Would Be Nice” and “Could Live Without”.

4. Finally, I fill in each section with the millions of things that are always floating around in my head.

Now I have to admit something about this system.  When I made my first draft of the list, the “Must Do” side was very full and the “Could Live Without” did not have any items.  I have been using this system for about two years and I am happy to say I have finally moved some things to the “Can Live Without” column and I am learning to be okay with that! (Paint the inside of my closet-probably not going to happen-too many shelves to take down!)  I do tend to have a lot of things/ideas constantly pop in my head during the day and night and it is nice to have a place to jot them down so I can free my mind for more important things (like sleep!).

I like this system because it is simple and combines a lot of information onto just one page.  Now I’m sure there is probably a more high tech way to do this, but I still can’t let go of paper and pencil for some things.

How about you?  If you are a list person, how do you organize your “To Do” list?  I would love to hear from you!  I’m always looking for new ways to simplify my life and get organized!

~Blessings,

Jen

 

 

I Will Inspire

inspire someoneI wanted to share a little God moment with you all. You all know that I am a mental health therapist. Very often it is NOT a happy job. Sometimes I know how Jesus must feel as people lay their burdens on me and look to me for hope to “fix” things. As much as I want to make everything all better, a lot of times it just isn’t possible. There are so many times that I question whether I really want to be doing this job, and maybe there would be a “happier” job out there somewhere!

For the first time, (after years of talking about it) I attended the 11:00 Christmas Eve service. It was a small intimate service and the pastor asked if there were any prayer requests. I asked for prayers for the last client I had seen the night before. His life is very dark, he feels very hopeless and at times I fear he will try and end it. One of the burdens of my job. One of the reasons I often think about a happier job. After the requests we bowed our heads in prayer and when I bowed I saw the words on the necklace I had just received a few hours before from my daughter Sarah. It said, “I Will Inspire.” I had to smile, because there again was God telling me I was doing the right thing and I was in the job I was meant to be. I shouldn’t have been surprised…He does that to me quite often. So again I am filled with determination and will set out to bring light where I can, and to continue to inspire! I encourage you to find someone you can help bring the light of Christ to and to be the inspiration someone needs to come out of the darkness.

Peace,

Julie

Merry Christmas!

We want to take a moment to wish all of our faithful readers a very Merry Christmas!  What a special and blessed time of year.  I wanted to share a picture Little One drew.  It is through the eyes of  a child that we can really see the simplicity of the message God wants us to know, He sent His one and only Son for us because he loves us.

LizaI also know that Christmas can be very hard for those who have lost loved ones.  I read this devotional in the Upper Room this morning, if you are missing someone you love, I hope you find comfort in these words.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas filled with peace, hope and love!

Jen

 

 

 

The Great Gingerbread House War!!

It is not secret in our family that there is a strong vein of competitiveness running through. Every year after Christmas my sister and I do some bargain shopping and buy gingerbread houses for the next season. Doesn’t matter what kind or where they come from, but one for every kid. This year things were hectic and busy with all of the health stuff going on and we just hadn’t gotten around to doing them. The day before celebrating with my siblings and mom I mentioned maybe we should have a gingerbread building competition. Oh my gosh!!! They jumped on it…and by they I mean the “big boys”, my brother, son, and son in law!! So Sunday comes and it’s time. I get out all of the gingerbread houses and start dividing them among the teams. Seriously, you would have thought the world had stopped revolving!! They were different kits!!! So I had to hear things like, “not on equal ground, theirs is bigger, easier than ours. We don’t have as many supplies. We are missing parts! It went on and on…and mind you, this was the adults!!! And rules…they were such sticklers for rules that at one point my brother ate their tissue smoke stack just to prove their whole house was edible!!! I must say it was a blast, and we will repeat it next year. There were just a “few” sore losers and they were quick to point out some stricter rules for next year!!! Well, nothing like a little healthy competition to make a lot of memories and bring a lot of laughs.

Merry Christmas

Julie

DSC_6255 DSC_6256 DSC_6266 - Copy DSC_6268 DSC_6283 DSC_6285AND THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER IS………………………….

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Look Up

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Is anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed with the busyness of this time of year?  Christmas is one week away and I have been feeling like I have not had time to quiet my soul and reflect on the true meaning of  Christmas.  With Mom’s health issues earlier this month and Little One having back to back illnesses, I have been very busy just getting through each day.

One thing I have always liked to do on Christmas Eve after the kids are tucked in for the night is to look out the window at the winter night sky and gaze at the stars and remember that first Christmas night.  I feel so close to God and am filled with a deep sense of peace as I look at the stars.

If I wait for life to settle down before I take time to focus on the meaning of Christmas, it might pass me by.  So I’m not going to wait!  In the midst of my busy life, I’m going to take some time out this week to slow down and reflect on this glorious season and what an amazing gift God gave us that Christmas Eve so many years ago-Baby Jesus.  Even before Christmas Eve arrives, I want to slip away and look up at the night sky and feel God’s presence.  I also want to take the time to share God’s love with others this Christmas season.

So if you are feeling frazzled and anxious, I urge you to take some time to bundle up, step outside, look up and feel the peace of the quiet night sky calm you and the miracle of Christmas fill your heart with hope and joy!

~Blessings,

Jen

 

Blessings

I must admit I am an eavesdropper. I love to listen in to other peoples conversations when I am out and about…sometimes they are funny, sometimes not so. Yesterday I was waiting in an office and I overheard a man talking that his wife may have MS….they were just waiting for tests to come back. That inspired me to start thinking about all of the blessings I have in my own life despite some of the trials and tribulations we have had over the last few weeks. My mom, who was very sick two weeks ago, is doing better. I had to get a pacemaker, but my doctor said it is being used 60% of the time, so we made a good choice…a choice two other cardiologists had deemed unnecessary. I had back surgery, but since then have not had that debilitating sciatic nerve pain. Over the weekend I found myself getting very stressed in the putting together my daughter’s baby shower. Luckily I had the sense at the time to step back and tell myself, what awesomely (probably not a word) wonderful reason to be stressed. Getting pregnant has not been easy for them, but here we are about to celebrate the birth of TWINS!!!! My entire family was able to gather this past Sunday for a Christmas celebration that was full of laughter, craziness and love. We are blessed. So as I started thinking about blessings, this song sung by Bing Crosby,  just popped into my head. I hope after you listen you start counting your blessings and find yourself humming this song the rest of this season.

Bless you all!

Julie