Bulk cooking simplifies the weekly responsibility of food preparation and clean up that is needed in all of our homes. Bulk cooking gives you power to be generous spontaneously. In addition to practical needs being recognized and resolved, you will be filled with the joy bursting from magnanimous action! Remember, people that are fed feel loved!!

Bulk Cooking with 10 Easy Ideas

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What is blooming outside your window? What is blooming inside your home? Any parent who loves the Lord personally should consider how to communicate spiritually with their child. Are your child’s spiritual roots growing deep? Are they planted a river of Biblical truth? Are they blooming from seeds planted by an intentional parent or mentor?

Spiritual Blooms – Growing Your Own Children Spiritually

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Suicide in very young children continues to rise in alarming rates. From January through September 2021, children’s hospital cases related to self injury, suicide ideation and attempts in kids ages 5 to 17 rose 53 percent from the same period in 2020. What is happening and what are we doing wrong?

A Silent Tragedy: How We are Raising Our Children

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As a parent, you likely observe your child’s strengths and weaknesses in academics as well as other situations such as church and social opportunities. Our strongest qualities are often partnered with our greatest weaknesses. Establishing a pattern of intentional evaluation and planning creates a customized plan for developing the best in your child.

5 Ideas for Developing the WHOLE Child

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In responding to this epidemic of loneliness, the most consistent response we can have is to communicate “I see you” with our actions and our words.

I See You – The Epidemic of Loneliness

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Many of my younger friends are either doing college, graduate school, military, bouncing into new careers and simply living on their own. Food continues to be a significant part of their budget. Some see their food costs rising monthly. Regardless of the motivation, many are giving their weekly food situation a hard look. I think you can eat better food, spend less money and time in the kitchen and just enjoy an overall more relaxed lifestyle by applying some of meal planning ideas.

Meal Planning for One

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While most dorm spaces are hardly large enough for two people to move around in simultaneously, local retailers suggest differently by the sizable “must buy” dorm lists.  In truth, many moms….especially first time moms, react as if they are nesting again comparable to the days before they anticipated the arrival of their first baby. They overbuy and over plan. Check out this packing list which is divided into needs and wants.

Packing for College

Packing for College

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It is easy to be a Christian on Sunday morning, but the reality of faith must have a practical everyday value that each day real life. Early Christians operated from the margins. Nothing is really different today. If we are truly modeling Christ-likeness, we are really in contrast to the culture. Our saltiness offers a pathway to eternal life with our Father God. The invitation is to live in kindness and community with those who are lost in this maze of one dimensional reality of the earthly world.

I Knew Jesus Before He Was a Christian, and I Liked Him Better Then

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Home is God’s idea. Family is God’s idea. No matter the size of your home or family, living in your space necessitates daily and weekly cleaning. When routines are established, the rhythm of life creates more time for enjoying living in your home.

Cleaning Your Home with Weekly Contributions

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Laundry seems to be a burden to so many. Several moms have asked how our family does laundry. Perhaps the size of our family leads to the belief that we have a “system”. All I can relate is how laundry works into our schedule. Once a system is in place, prepare to be flexible. Don’t complicate a simple task. Follow these simple steps to simplify your weekly laundry.

Laundry Simplified

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In 2014, on the day after Christmas, we loaded up the van and drove to Destin, Florida to spend five days with 24 family members.  It was a first for all of us. While that may sound overwhelming, it was a very memorable time that we were eager to duplicate. This first annual Vance Vacation was aimed at spending quality time together to build our family community. It worked. Check out how we accomplished such a large task. Don’t miss the helpful download full of “how-to” details.

Vance Vacation: Building Family Community

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Playing with mud as an adult has been insightful, even mind blowing. Who knew that taking up a new hobby of pottery would be a journey into spiritual and personal observation. Although we are just starting, here is what we have learned so far.

Wisdom from the Wheel: What Pottery has Taught Me

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Do you have these 20 Social Skills?
Some people have work skills and academic knowledge, but not social skills to propel them to success. Some negative social behavior actually repels people. Some people lack self-awareness to identify what is repulsive to others. Some know, but don’t care. Some fail to weigh the cost of not caring about their interaction with others.

20 Social Skills to Improve Your Sociability

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Sometimes I dream that I will have met my lifetime limit of cleaning responsibility. This, however, never turns out to be more than just a dream. In an effort to survive, I eagerly keep up seasonal cleaning. The routine of seasonal cleaning and purging creates more space where you live. It can save you money as you are more aware of what you need which keeps you from unnecessary purchases. Regularly, this activity helps me to locate lost or forgotten items. Inevitably, this habit means you keep less stuff.

6 Ideas for Speedy Seasonal Cleaning

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This past summer I started taking yoga classes in an area of town that put me in contact with a corner which on most days had homeless women. Consistently, I noticed two young women at this corner. I gave them food and water bottles nearly every time I passed. I remembered the blessing bags that I used to make with my children. It seemed the right response to make some blessing bags for these women.

Blessing Bags

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Just a few days ago, Tim and I were talking to our Uber driver who began to tell us how she was not really into religion. That was just the invitation that Tim needed to tell her that we were not really into religion either. Religiousity was not really our thing. However, we were enthusiastic Christ followers. Thank you to our readers and podcast listeners who have asked, “What is a Christ follower?” We are glad you asked. Let’s unpack this simple, but profound answer.

What is a Christ Follower?

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Over the years as a mom of five, I have spent $1000’s of groceries. Growing up in a family of six with $50 a week for groceries, I actively helped my mom stretch our food costs. These five easy ideas for cutting food costs are guaranteed to save time and money.

5 Easy Ideas to Cut Food Costs

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Do you want a strong vibrant marriage? Do you have hedges established protecting your marriage? Do you anticipate compromising situations and temptations with a plan? It is important for us to win at our own marriages. Plant hedges deep and wide and tall.

Hedges: Loving Your Marriage Enough to Protect It

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Whether you would like to improve the relationship with a child, a spouse, a parent, in-laws, a neighbor, a co-worker or a friend… the kindness challenge promises to increase the positives. Kindness is powerful!! It could be your new superpower.

Is Kindness YOUR Superpower?

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An earlier blog and podcast, “Seven Easy Ways to Grow Your Children Spiritually” unpacked the basics of spiritual training in the home. One of the most helpful ways to explore what is best for our children is to grasp the secrets of what is age appropriate. If we understand the learning capabilities of our children […]

Biblical Literacy @ Home: Age Appropriate Training

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As I step into a new season, I wanted to review some of the things that I have learned. This past year has been so full of learning. Perhaps you feel the same way. As I re-organize my schedule for the new season, I am reminded to pause and hold fast to the things that […]

Things I Have Learned So Far

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Biblical Literacy @ Home7 Easy Ways to Grow Your Children Spiritually When I was given a child to raise, I knew that it was my responsibility to grow them up physically, academically, socially, relationally as well as spiritually. I began to lean into my experience of growing up. I did not assume that I could […]

Biblical Literacy at Home: 7 Easy Ways to Grow Your Children Spiritually

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The news spread quickly as we told everyone we knew. However, our excitement screeched to a halt the evening that we began to lose them. Darkness settled in. Sadness engulfed us. Dreams died hard.

Empty Arms – A Journey of Infertility, Miscarriage and Children

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Remember that how you live your days are how you will live your life. The most fulfilling life is one lived daily in the Word of God. If you find yourself away from God or neglecting the daily patterns of a growing spiritual life, consider starting again

Start Where You Are

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Do you realize that a person thinks thirty thousand thoughts per day? This breaks down into about thirty-one thoughts per minute. Which of these thoughts will captivate me? How will I respond to these thoughts? Will any of these thoughts be repetitive thoughts? How can I take an unhealthy thought captive? Can I take a thought captive? Can I be free from living a chaotic thought life? Yes, I believe I most definitely have the power to grab hold of my train of thought and direct it or redirect it. Neuroplasticity promises that the train running on the tracks in my head can be switched onto another track.

Toxic Thinking: Renewal through Neuroplasticity

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As each day offers a fresh start, a renewed opportunity and a host of moments to nurture YOUR nest, my prayer is that this place will encourage a lighter step, and inspire creativity with newfound joy.

The Dream Behind Nurturing My Nest

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If you have children, they need to be part of the daily and weekly responsibilities of cleaning and maintaining the space they live in with their family. Remember to expect quality work and inspect a finished job. It is only fair that everyone who lives in a space contributes to the maintenance of the living area. Keep in mind that if your child does not learn to clean, cook and organize when they are growing up, what makes you think that they will know what to do when they become an adult? Most young adults are completely unprepared for adulting. Don’t let your kids be unqualified for independent living.

Expect and Inspect Method- How Parents Teach Contributions For Cleaning

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