Sunday, March 8, 2015

Understanding Christian Sustainability

Image result for christian sustainability
Simply put, sustainability is about meeting the needs of today's people without compromising the ability of future generations to be able to meet their own needs. As Christians, we're called to take care of our environment and those living in the world around us. This isn't a very complex concept, but it is a very important one.

There are a lot of different things that you can do to help your planet and fellow humankind here, including:

  • Lower your consumption by not buying things you don't need. When you are purchasing products, make sure that they are more durable, easy to fix, don't pollute the environment, are energy-efficient, and functional.
  • Walk or use public transportation instead of driving your car all of the time.
  • Don't use paper towels for everything! Use cloth napkins for meals and old washcloths for cleaning.
  • Look for new ways to reuse household items you're considering getting rid of. Whether you upcycle items or join Freecycle (a group of people who give items they no longer need but that are still usable to other people), don't just send items to the landfill.
  • Consider planting a garden. Not only is this a frugal way of living, but it's also good for the environment. Don't worry that you're taking away from local farmers because there will still be plenty of folks buying their produce, as well as items you won't be able to grow yourself and so you'll need to buy from them.
  • Find ways to make more things yourself or do without them. This isn't just fun and frugal but it's also healthier too.
  • Switch to simple cleaning solutions. The one brand that I really like is Shaklee because they don't contain all kinds of nasty chemicals that are really bad for your health - although you'll hear people say the chemicals are what makes the environment clean, they're actually what hurt the environment.
  • Shop locally when possible because it will help your local economy but you'll also eat healthier foods.

There's also one last thing that you're probably already doing: Recycle! It's really easy, doesn't even take any thought once you're in the habit. Plus, I think that it's safe to say that God recycles... Do you?

Now you can remind people about the importance of Christian sustainability every day simply by wearing this T-shirt, no words necessary!

This blog is part of a series I'm writing, entitled...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Although you may not think so, healthy eating on a low budget really is possible. However, you do need to take some time to think and plan ahead with tips like these.

Healthy Eating on a Budget Tip #1: 

Dust off Your Spice Rack  

Use a spice rack to give your food more flavor. It's easy to buy spices in bulk at very reasonable prices then simply put them into bottles on your spice rack. If you don't already have one, buy one!

Healthy Eating on a Budget Tip #2: 

Stock up on Sale Items You Use Frequently 

When items are sale, stock up! This is especially true for shelf-stable items such as chicken broth, beans, etc. It's also true for items that can be frozen and used later (e.g. meats). You can then use these items to plan your meals around.

Healthy Eating on a Budget Tip #3: 

Email Manufacturers to Score More Coupons 

Email manufacturers of your favorite products and ask for coupons. This healthy eating on budget tip is as easy as going to the company's website and finding their "Contact Us" section and either emailing them or signing up for their newsletter (set up a separate account if you have to, it's worth it)!

Healthy Eating on a Budget Tip #4:
Look at the Front of the Store for Sales 

Look in the front of your favorite store for coupons and deals that allow for healthy eating on a budget for families. At Whole Foods Market, you'll find booklets when you enter the store. These are full of recipes and coupons that you should browse through before you start shopping to see if there's a coupon for something you need to buy.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Get Organized! Create a Homemaking Journal

Get Organized! Create a Homemaking Journal

Regular cleaning isn't only healthier for your family, but it also makes it easier to keep your home clean. So, how do you start? With a homemaking journal that you put together in the following fashion.

Write down Every Job You Need to Do in Each Room in Your Homemaking Journal 

Get a notebook and go into every room and notate every job you need to do in that room but don't write on your homemaking journal pages yet. Furthermore, write down every idea you have for that room. Don't overlook anything... the entryway/porch of your home, windows, window sills, baseboards, books, shelves, nic nac's, lamp globes, carpet, sofa cushions, chair legs, smoke alarm batteries, door knobs, piano keys, curtains, blinds, etc.

You'll also want to notate in your homemaking journal when you want each job done. This way you'll know when things need to be done simply by looking at your notebook.

Create a Homemaking Journal  

Once you've gathered your notes you'll want to open your homemaking journal (here's a neat way to make a quick, personalized homemaking journal) and write down the name of each room at the top of each page so that each room has its own page. Now write down what you need to do in each room, each day. You'll then want to create a section in your homemaking journal  for what you'll want to do weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, bi-annually, and annually in this same way. By now, you'll have worked your way to the back of the notebook where you'll want to make a list of everything that needs fixed or bought.

Keeping up with the Work in Your Homemaking Journal 

At the beginning of each month, you'll want to decide what homemaking journal ideas you want to do that month. You may wish to consider purchasing a large white board like this one.

This way, you can write down your chores each day and erase them as they're accomplished. It's also a good place to list your children's chores. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Enjoying Christian Simplicity

This is one of my favorite quotes from Mother Theresa. But what does it really mean? Sure, it speaks of voluntary simplicity but what is that?

Simple living is a lifestyle wherein you deliberately choose to decrease your material needs and fill your life with simple pleasures instead. This is actually something that many people throughout the years have done, including David Thoreau, Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato.

It's more than simple moderation and balance though. It's also about:


Lower your consumption by purchasing products that are more durable, easy to fix, don't pollute the environment, are energy efficient, and functional.
Walk or use public transportation instead of driving your car all of the time.

Quantity and Quality Time

Invest time and energy in activities with your partner, children, and friends.

Work and Money

Pursue a livelihood that contributes to the wellbeing of the world.
Develop personal skills that enable you to become more self-reliant.

Family and Community

Make your family a priority instead of simply trying to find time for them.
Favor non-sexist patterns of relationships.
Involve yourself in compassionate causes within your community.
Participate in holistic health care.

Caring for the Earth

Discover the size of your ecological footprint and reduce it.
Boycott products that you disagree with.
Purchase earth-healthier products.

These are just some of the many things we're called to do as Christians. I will be going into greater detail over the next weeks so that together we can enjoy Christian simplicity. It will be a bit of a challenge but for me, it will be a challenge well worth taking. I hope you'll join me and comment along the way!

This blog is part of a series I'm writing, entitled...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Entering into the Season of Lent

Lent... The season leading up to the greatest gift God could ever give us: His Son, dying for our sins.

This isn't something that I, or anyone else deserves. It's why I truly believe that throughout this season we shouldn't only be thankful, but we should also deepen our commitment. There are so many ways in which we can do this.

I've heard some people say that they're going to join in on a decluttering challenge. Some are going to give away an item a day for the next 40 days.

Some people will stop eating meat on Fridays. There are lots of great fish fry's that they can enjoy instead.

Others are going to spend more time reading God's Word and planting this in their heart. Although this is something I feel we should be doing all the time, sometimes life has a way of getting us sidetracked.

I'm actually going to be moving next Friday (2/27) so I've been going through things here, decluttering. I've given lots of things away already. At the same time, I already only eat chicken so I can't give up meat and I do read and pray daily. So, what's left for me to do? In all honesty, I've yet to think of something but I'm sure that in this season of change, God understands. After all, He's a loving God. With that being said, you shouldn't feel bad if you're not able to do anything "special" this Lenten season. However, if you will be doing something: What do you plan to do?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

6 Ways to Enjoy a Trip in Your Mobile Home

Traveling in a mobile home can actually be a lot of fun. Here are 6 ways to make sure that you really enjoy it:
1. Change your plans whenever you feel like it so that you can go wherever your heart desires.
2. Enjoy the luxuries that you may not have at home (i.e. flat screen TV with surround sound).
3. Don't worry about packing, unpacking and repacking.
4. Never hear about your kids being bored.
5. While you may not like camping, an RV is a different story.
6. You'll get to meet some great new people along the way.

12 Great New LEGO Sets

There's bound to be something that every kid would love to own and play with! Remember, LEGOs are educational too.