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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Mid-Week Motivation

Welcome to the mid-week motivational menu. Are you feeling a little sluggish, unmotivated and down right lazy? Well, what you need is a good does of nutrition for your heart, soul and mind. Hope you're hungry because there's plenty for all. . .

Starting Your Day Out Right!
Devotional Thought

Matthew 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

Not being a morning person, I still struggle with getting up early to pray or have a quiet time before the chaos of the day begins. Now that I'm homeschooling my kids, I see the need for this more in my life.

It never fails! When I wake up late and start the day already behind schedule, I always feel like I'm playing catch up. But when I wake up just a little bit early to have a real quiet time before the kids get up, my day just goes smoother. I have more patience with my kids and things seem to fall in place. Then why don't I get up earlier more?

Here's some quick tips to help you rise and shine before the rest of the world wakes. Schedule several days this week when you will wake up early and when you will sleep in. I usually sleep in on Mondays and Wednesdays. Then set your alarm clock for 30 to 60 minutes early and hit that snooze or do whatever it takes to get you up on time.

I'll give it a try if you will and let me know how it works for you!

Is Your House in Order?
Cleaning, parenting, marriage tips, etc.

My laundry always seems to pile up and when I do manage to get it washed, it stays too long in the dryer. Today's tip is to throw a load in the washer BEFORE breakfast! Then set the timer and make sure you take the clothes out when they're warm. Have the kids help with the folding and play the matching game with those pesky socks. We keep all the matchless socks in a basket for weeks (or until they run out of socks to wear) then we play match-etball. When you get a match then throw it in the basket and score!

Afternoon Pick Me Up
Writing Inspiration

Nothing distracts me more than email, and with DSL it's on ALL THE TIME! So why don't I just unplug it? Good question! I think because I crave "outside" feedback and approval. I desire communication and comments. To help combat this plan on checking your email twice a day. Once in the morning and once at night and set a timer. (I really need to follow my own advice!)

This week in the afternoon hours, after kids' homework and before the rush of dinner begins, I'm going to unplug the DSL. Turn off the email and communicate first with God, and then with my characters.

First with God, for guidance on what he wants me to say through my characters and then with my character to hear how they want to say it.

Email and friends are wonderful things, but they can distract what little precious time we have to create. So I challenge you to unplug the email and get quiet before the Lord.

What's For Dinner?
Quick Dinners

Pasta Fajioli Soup

First of all if my mom knew I was using canned goods in this quick and easy recipe, she'd have a fit. But it tastes too good and so easy to make, I'll take the risk.

* 1 lb ground beef
* 1 cup chopped Onion
* 2 cloves of garlic (minced is fine also)

Cook these first and add them to a crockpot

* 1 can of beef broth
* 1 jar of Chunky Garden Tomato Sauce (I know it's best to make your own sauce, ma. But this is supposed to be a quick and easy recipe!)
* 2 cups of water
* 1 cup sliced celery (I usually leave this out)
* 1 tsp sugar (optional as well )
* 1 tsp salt
* 1/2 tsp pepper (to spice it up use Italian hot pepper)
* 1 can rotel or diced tomatoes

Simmer in crockpot or on stove for 20 minutes

Add last:

* 2 cups of elbow macaroni ( or add it dried earlier if you're using a crockpot, but then you'll have to watch it to make sure it doesn't get mushy!)
* 1 can White Northern beans
* 1 shredded carrot (I leave out, too much work)

Simmer ten minutes more on stove or in crockpot. Serve, eat and enjoy.

A Restful Night's Sleep
Scripture for a good night
Luke 19:17 "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'
At the end of the day, look back on all you've done! Did you become distracted by things like the computer or email? If so, confess and determine to do better tomorrow!

Did you stay ahead of your day? Wonderful... Before you turn out the lights, set your clock to rise early and make a "to do list" before you go to bed. Plan out what you will wear in the morning so you can start your day off right!

Gina, at Portrait of a Writer...Interrupted, is founder of Writer...Interrupted and homeschooling mom to four high-spirited children. She writes about her experiences trying to balance it all. Her co-authored book , Anytime Prayers for Everyday Moms was just leased and is available now for Christmas!


Mary said...

Commenting to say...this new mid-week motivation is awesome! I LOVE IT~! That recipe sounds really yummy and winter-cozy! Plus easy is always welcome at my house!

Thanks to all of you for sharing such inspirational wisdom and advice! This is a great new feature!

scribbit said...

That pasta Fajioli sounds great. I'm a Carb Queen.

Tina said...

I am trying that recipe! :)

Jennifer said...

That recipe sounds great. And, yes, email is a HUGE distraction for me if I sit down to write.