Oh the Christmas Mess! Time to Clean Up Our Life!

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I know why so many people focus on organizing their homes in January. We just took in an incredible amount of stuff for Christmas. Most of it was not only useful, but will be loved and treasured all year.

However, now we have to find a place for it all. Enter our dilemma!   We are out of places to put stuff in our house!

Today’s post begins a new journey of organization for our family. We have too much stuff! If you saw pictures of my home today, you would think my two children ran through destroying everything. It looks like my four year old and one year old are in charge of organization.

I guess it is time to admit that nobody has been in charge of organization.  You know, it can be tough to face the cold, hard truth, but God doesn’t want us to live this way.  If we look at the Proverbs 31 woman, what do you think her house looked like? Did she lose bills and pay a late fee? Were her clothes in heaps on the floor? Did her kids get lost in their toys? Hmmm…. time to make a change! Time to get rid of a bunch of unnecessary stuff. Time to simplify our lives!

I mentioned the pics would be embarrassing, but I will post before and afters as we move through our home.

How we intend to start:
1. We began by getting on the same team. My husband and I have been discussing this for a while.  Christmas morning we made the decision.  It is time to clean up our life!

2. Understand than this is not some New Year’s resolution that we can break. This is a life change that is necessary if we want to be free to carry out God’s work on earth.

3. Plan! We have planned out baby steps. We sectioned off our home into areas to attack. We are beginning in the living room because that is where we hang out the most. The room is so big, we had to break it into smaller chunks. According to our plan, we may not finish the whole house until April.

4. Schedule work times. We are setting aside time in our daily schedules to work on decluttering. My husband has the huge job of moving out trash and items to donate.

5. Pray about it all. We know we won’t be successful without God’s help. We are praying for energy,  motivation,  and stamina.

Join us along this journey. Pictures coming soon!

Blessings!

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The Disciplined Life: 5 Tips I Am Trying to Follow

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Joyce Meyer, a phenomenal writer of devotions, wrote this in a devotion I read this morning.

“We need to be mature, disciplined,  Holy Spirit-controlled people, determined to walk in the Spirit.  It takes a constant act of the will to do things God’s way rather than our own way.”

Whether you are trying to organize your house, follow a fitness program, or manage your family, discipline is required. Let’s be honest! We like to be in charge, submitting to no others. We like to make our own rules.  The truth is, that is not the definition of discipline.  For me, living a disciplined life is hard. I am constantly checking in and making changes. I proudly acknowledge that I need the following tips for help.

Here are 5 tips for trying to live a disciplined, Christ – centered life.

1. God is in charge, not you. Discipline means becoming a disciple of something. God wants you to choose Him. We live out our lives in a disciplined way due to obedience to God. Always remember to put God first. Other pieces will fall into place. Pray for His help. Don’t go through change alone.

2. Find a source of motivation. If simply living in obedience to God isn’t enough when you are in the trenches, find some motivation for the hardest days. Social media can be destructive, but it can also be uplifting.  I can always find other blogging mamas out there who motivate me. Pinterest is my go-to place.  There is a wealth of motivating posters and articles for when we lose our steam.

3. Make a plan. This is not the same as a goal or wish list. Write out the steps you will take to reach your goal. What will you do each day? Each week? Make it realistic! Know that life will happen. Make it changeable and allow for adjustments.

4. Start small. If your goal is to read the Bible each day, start with a devotional instead of in depth studies that require a hour a day. If you want to run a 5K, don’t go 2 1/2 miles the first day. Starting too big leads to discouragement.  You are looking at life changes! Allow God to work in your life, but don’t try to force him to change your mind, body, or spirit over night.

5. Take care of yourself during the process. Get enough sleep. Eat healthy foods. Get a flu shot. Surround yourselves with positve, loving people.  When you feel tired or get sick, it is easy to give up. You can not create new habits or stick to a plan if you feel terrible and exhausted. 

Okay folks, time to get it all together over these last ten days of 2013. 2014 lies just around the corner!

Blessings! 

The Disciplined Life: 5 Tips I Am Trying to Follow

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Joyce Meyer, a phenomenal writer of devotions, wrote this in a devotion I read this morning.

“We need to be mature, disciplined,  Holy Spirit-controlled people, determined to walk in the Spirit.  It takes a constant act of the will to do things God’s way rather than our own way.”

Whether you are trying to organize your house, follow a fitness program, or manage your family, discipline is required. Let’s be honest! We like to be in charge, submitting to no others. We like to make our own rules.  The truth is, that is not the definition of discipline.  For me, living a disciplined life is hard. I am constantly checking in and making changes. I proudly acknowledge that I need the following tips for help.

Here are 5 tips for trying to live a disciplined, Christ – centered life.

1. God is in charge, not you. Discipline means becoming a disciple of something. God wants you to choose Him. We live out our lives in a disciplined way due to obedience to God. Always remember to put God first. Other pieces will fall into place. Pray for His help. Don’t go through change alone.

2. Find a source of motivation. If simply living in obedience to God isn’t enough when you are in the trenches, find some motivation for the hardest days. Social media can be destructive, but it can also be uplifting.  I can always find other blogging mamas out there who motivate me. Pinterest is my go-to place.  There is a wealth of motivating posters and articles for when we lose our steam.

3. Make a plan. This is not the same as a goal or wish list. Write out the steps you will take to reach your goal. What will you do each day? Each week? Make it realistic! Know that life will happen. Make it changeable and allow for adjustments.

4. Start small. If your goal is to read the Bible each day, start with a devotional instead of in depth studies that require a hour a day. If you want to run a 5K, don’t go 2 1/2 miles the first day. Starting too big leads to discouragement.  You are looking at life changes! Allow God to work in your life, but don’t try to force him to change your mind, body, or spirit over night.

5. Take care of yourself during the process. Get enough sleep. Eat healthy foods. Get a flu shot. Surround yourselves with positve, loving people.  When you feel tired or get sick, it is easy to give up. You can not create new habits or stick to a plan if you feel terrible and exhausted. 

Okay folks, time to get it all together over these last ten days of 2013. 2014 lies just around the corner!

Blessings! 

Motivated by Joy

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Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? Many of us can label ourselves as either night owls or morning people.  What if the secret could be found in what motivates us to get up?

How did you wake up? Did an alarm wake you up?  Children come bouncing into your room? Spouse snore until you awoke? Are you one of those lucky people who gets up when your body naturally wakes up?

My alarm goes off at 5am on days that I work.  I get up, fix a pot of coffee, read my Bible readings for the day, spend a few quiet moments in prayer, work on the computer while drinking coffee, and then get ready for work.  Eventually, I get around to waking up the rest of the house.

This morning, when the alarm blared, I turned it off and just laid in the bed.  I thought about resetting the alarm and skipping my writing time.  This is the first day after a long weekend of sleeping later than usual.  I tried to justify staying in bed.  However, I realized that the joy I find in my quiet mornings motivates me to get up each day.

It is so much easier to move through life when we find joy in our daily schedules.  Other than my quiet mornings, I find joy in playing with my kids after the dinner rush.  I also find joy in the few moments I get to spend with my husband each evening once the kids are in bed.  I find joy in working with my fifth graders each day.

Seeking joy in our daily lives motivates us to keep going.  It fuels our soul and replenishes the weariness.  God tells us to seek joy in Him.  We can find joy in our relationship with Him and His promises for our future.  His blessings pour joy into our lives, and we are instructed to revel in our joy.  As Nehemiah said, “…the joy of the Lord is our strength.” That joy gets us going each day.  It keeps us going when we hit hard times.

How do you find joy in the Lord in your life?

Blessings!

The Calm Before the Storm: Times Filled with Hope and Motivation

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In just a couple weeks I will be back to work full time again.  That means early morning postings on the blog at 5am, the 5pm dinner rush, evenings full of preschool activities for Superhero Son, lots of papers to grade, and the stress of school work piled on top of cooking, cleaning, and caring for my family.

Since that first summer after I had Superhero Son, I have felt a sense of loss when the summer winds down.  I love our days of hanging out in our pjs, the summer activities, time with family at the lake, and not working on Tuesdays when my husband is off from work.

When the end of summer is upon me, I feel like I need to treasure every minute with my kids.  However, something inside of me kicks into high gear, and I feel drawn to my classroom.  I acquire this need to get it ready for anxious fifth graders.  I have an amazing amount of motivation to be supermom!  At this point on the calendar, I believe I can do it all.  I can be the perfect wife, mother, and teacher. Then reality sets in!

I wish I could bottle that energy, motivation, and confidence and use it when I falter in a few weeks. At some point I will have to remind myself that I am human and not perfect.  For now, I am off to conquer the world!

Blessings!

Around the Colvin Cottage: Motivation by Mercy Me

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The finish line is in sight!  I have two weeks left of school, the house goes on the market this week, the book is ALMOST finished!  I am scurrying around like crazy trying to finish everything.

Whenever I run out of energy, my go-to song has been Mercy Me’s Move.  Here is a video with the lyrics.  It is kind of like a cup of coffee for my motivation!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WKzIqjqhbk

And now, just for fun, we have pictures of the past couple of weeks!

Darling Daughter's hair is always a mess!  It matches her personality!

Darling Daughter’s hair is always a mess! It matches her personality!

This is where the kids played, ate snacks, and read their book this weekend!  They love the turtle tent!

This is where the kids played, ate snacks, and read their book this weekend! They love the turtle tent!

Motivation Found on the Treadmill

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I am tired!  We are trying to get our house ready for the market. The book is coming along, but slowly.  I am wrapping up my school year with testing.  My baby is about to turn one year old.  My four year old is, well, he is four.  That is all I need to say about that!

Over the past few weeks, life has gotten so crazy that I neglected to run.  I didn’t make it to the gym for DAYS!  I decided to head back this week after about twenty days without exercising.  I anticipated difficulty getting back into my rhythm.   Boy was it rough!  I felt guilty for skipping days, for my horrid eating habits, and for my lazy attitude toward life.  I realized that I needed to find some motivation to get back on that treadmill and give it my best.  I really wanted to just quit!

A little less than a mile into my run, I noticed the television set closest to me was displaying information about the NFL draft.  I don’t typically care about the NFL, but it was the only tv for which I could read the subtitles from my treadmill.  

As I watched, I began to wonder how many times those athletes had to start over.  I wondered how many of them had an easy road to get to the NF,L or if they were constantly coming against hardship and struggle.  I bet most of them had to start over at some point.  Injury, bad luck, and lack of opportunity may have tempted some of them to give up and quit.  I decided that wasn’t an option for them, or for me!

While I watched the NFL draft, I noticed these young men were overwhelmed with joy when their name was called.  It was all I needed to push a little harder and faster on that treadmill.  I was easily reminded that my goals won’t be achieved unless I can pick myself up from hardships, too.  

Find your motivation.  Find a way to get back on the treadmill!

Blessings!