Saturday, March 31, 2012

You're Already Amazing: Chapter 2

     We're continuing going through Holley Gerth's book, You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be with the Bloom Book Club. If you have a copy to the book, then please feel free to leave a comment in the section below or a link to your participating blog. 
      If you're not interested in following this particular series, then no worries because there will also be more homemaking posts to come as well. :) 
      Next week, we'll discuss chapters 4-6 on Wednesday.

     Discovery of self is perhaps one of the greatest inner struggles we'll attempt. It's a lifelong journey that is constantly changing. Holley probes this quest through the exploration of strengths, skills, and relationships. In the chapter, a list of strengths and skills is provided to aid in determining the top three. A strength is defined as "a personal characteristic that can be used on behalf of God in service to others" (pg. 25). Meanwhile a skill is defined as "a strength expressed in a specific way that builds up others and benefits the kingdom" (pg. 29). The difference between the two comes down to "strengths are part of who we are while skills are more about what we do" (pg. 25). I appreciated how the two terms were made distinct because so often it feels as if who we are (strengths) is dependent upon what we do (skills). Truth is, God created us as we are (strengths) for what we do (skills). 

       As is mentioned in the definitions the end purpose of strengths and skills is for His glory. Holley suggests that we have three realms of relationships: Heart, Personal, Functional. It's through these avenues that we pour out our strengths and skills onto. With this said, I often feel as though these identified strengths, skills and relationships are not being adequately utilized in my life. My heart was encouraged when I came across the section focused on the seasonality of the expression of skills. Sometimes God with hold what we feel like we ought to be doing for his purpose. For instance, I love sharing in hospitality but that hasn't been a frequent event. I've worked with notions of failing at this aspect of homemaking and living in general. However, I'm also reminded that God has the ability to remove situations we believe we need in order for us to see Him as our need. Just because a strength, skill or relationship isn't promising now doesn't mean it will always be so. 

     "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" (Ecc. 3:1) and meanwhile "whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor 10:31).

Bloom Book Club video for chapters 1&2:

       Hopefully I'll get the third chapter posted tomorrow. Forgive me for the delay as I've been trying to recover from surgery and then illnesses recently. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You're Already Amazing: Chapter 1

Image by DaySpring

  This week begins the Bloom Book Club's look into Holley Gerth's book, You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be If you have a copy to the book, then please feel free to leave a comment in the section below or a link to your participating blog. Let's begin with just the first chapter.

        The list of descriptors that keep us from believing we are amazing is immense. Even as I write, I can think of so many notions that I've created and have been created for me that has driven me at times in my life to pursuit the achievement of worthiness. Perhaps, if I can just get that degree, job, or exhibit that kind of homemaking then I will be something. The truth is, we already are amazing. We just have to see our beings and our brokenness through His eyes.

        I believe the root of a majority of our burdening issues is comparison. We all are familiar with the "it" girl. You can think of her now- the one with the put together appearance, career tenacity, or most godly in living. Holley accurately speaks of the product of such idolization as something that "exhaust us- all and make us competitiors than sisters" (pg.17). She continues to assert that what we're missing in trying to be the "it girl" is the lack of recognition that we are God's "is girl." In other words, He has already told us what we are simply in our creation, and we can be assured that he intended those qualities for good. 

          So, why is it so difficult to value the amazing aspects of ourselves? Partly, it's because we're busy contemplating statements like, "But most people don't..." I think on my own response to that statement of what most people don't and what I do. Indeed, it feels as though I'm on the path less chosen for living life. I quickly fill in, "...but I do believe in homemaking as means of pursuing the reestablishment of value into home and family." I don't see it around me, but I believe it. "Most people don't but" I do. This section of the chapter really stunned me. I loved in the end when Holley wrote, "Most people don' an ark. Most people don't... lead people through the desert to the Promised Land. Most people don't... die on a cross to save the world." In that revelation of perspective my heart, endeavors, and self come to a new light of meaning- as God's "is girl."

        Finally, Holley speaks on how brokenness can be a contributor to our slanted view of self as  less than amazing. She argues, however, that in our brokenness we allow Christ to shine through. The story of our journey is His. If we were whole, then we'd have no need for Him. She quotes a beautiful passage written by Angie Smith of how our lives our brokenness can be used by Him. She writes, "I began to realize that this pitcher was my life, and every piece was part of the story that God had chosen to put together" (pg. 20). She continues as she tells of what God might be saying to her in saying, "... How do you think the world has seen me? If it wasn't for the cracks, I couldn't seep out the way I do. I chose the pitcher. I chose you, just as you are." To see through this perspective, for me, is a powerful one.

Tomorrow we'll look into Chapter 2. The video that goes along with this material also includes chapter 2, so I'll wait to post it with tomorrow's. 

So what are your thoughts? Join in the discussion in the comment section below


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bloom Book Club Author Introduction

   Next week kicks off the latest Bloom Book Club selection- You're Already Amazing: Embracing Who You Are, Becoming All God Created You to Be by Holley Gerth. I've read two of the previous features at Bloom, and really enjoyed them. This time around I'm looking forward to sharing the discussion with you here at Reviving Homemaking. One beautiful aspect of participating in this online book club is the opportunity to have the author participating as well! Below is a little clip from Bloom introducing Ms. Holley Gerth. The book club will meet (online) each Monday and Wednesday, and so grab your book and follow along, leave your comments, or link up to your page in which you are also participating. Can't wait to begin and hear from everyone! 

For more information, be sure to visit the Bloom Book Club site at:


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Five Question Friday...on Saturday


1. Will you run to the store or to pick up a kid looking a mess?
     I'll admit that occasionally I make an early morning trip to the store with my face that has no makeup my hair is in a lovely headband and ponytail. It's not very glamorous, but hey at least I'm not in pajama pants or slippers (sadly, I've seen this many times). I try not to look a total mess when I go out though. 

2. Do you finish a book if it's boring or you don't like it?
     I will finish a book even if I have to force myself to keep turning the pages. Believe it or not, I'm bothered by not finishing something that I've started (likely due to the number of times I've done that in life. whoops. haha). Some books are more challenging to stay engaged and interested, but for the most part the overall work is well worth the rather lengthy effort required.
      I read one last year that..well, it was so poorly executed but yet I kept reading it thinking that maybe things would be pulled together better later in the book. I finished it, and it never did. It's perhaps the only one I've felt like I wasted my time in reading it in it's entirety. Nonetheless, I finished it. ah ha! 

3. Beach or mountain vacations?
      I'd love either! I will say that ever since our wedding getaway we've become quite picky as to what we'd go for in terms of a beach vacation. We'll definitely wait until we can go back to the island for a beach vacation. If I'm going on vacation I want serenity, not tourism. I do think hubby would be all the way mountain escape kind of vacation. As long as we're together, I don't mind where we go (just nothing too extreme! haha). :)

4. What thing/event says "winter will end and spring is right around the corner" to you?
   That's a hard question to answer as this year we barely had a winter and now it feels like we've passed over spring into summer (mid-80s in March?!). I love the cool gentle breezes of springtime. The kind of weather in which it's just enough to be chilly but not cold. There is also the obvious of seeing early flowers bloom! I love flowers. They're just so happy. haha
5. Would you prefer couples or family vacation?
     Well, those two descriptors are one entity for hubby and I. Any vacation would be just us, so I can't quite imagine what I'd prefer. If we are blessed with children later, then I'll be sure to come back to the question with this frame of reference. haha.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Home Organization- Controlling the Paper Clutter

     I must confess that within a closet lies my most uncontrolled mess- the infamous paper clutter pile. The filing box holds needed and unneeded papers from years ago, and meanwhile newer papers were just stacked to the side. I had even carried this stack from residence to residence over the course of our last two moves because I hadn't gotten to the courage or diligence to tackle this mess. While attempting to gather documents for filing taxes this year it quickly became apparent that the time had come to get to business with my clutter pile. 
     I began by pulling everything out of the box and stack. When all in one pile it was completely overwhelming, which is one reason I had yet to complete this task. In situations such as this, I prefer to use a method I used often in college called "divide and conquer." A task is always much easier to accomplished if done in small bits. Plus, there's the satisfaction of seeing progress along the way! So, I divided my pile into five more piles and began working on one pile each day. 
Here it is- my big paper mess now taking over the living room,
but this time with the purpose of getting it under control.
  What else puts more pep in your organization step than cute labels! I love look of matching file tabs and folder labels. I really believe this makes a difference in creating uniformity and fun. Other supplies used were scissors, marker, and glue stick. Because I reused my file folders, I had to back them with another layer of paper to cover the previous writing on the folder. I would also highly recommend having a paper shredder.

Another struggle with the paper pile and filing is that I tend to keep everything. I really wasn't sure what was necessary to keep and what wasn't, so I kept it all.  However, I've now gotten some guidelines for filing. For instance:
  • Tax returns and documentation= keep 7 years in home filing system 
  • Personal health records (physician(s) & contact info., health history, medications/treatments ect)= always keep current in home filing system 
  • Medical records= Keep 5 years from the time treatment for ailment is discontinued in home filing system 
  • Medical insurance (premium statements, doctor bills, copies of prescriptions, hospital bills etc)= keep 5 years from the date of service received in home filing system 
  • Life Insurance= keep for life of policy plus 3 years in home filing system 
  • Home insurance= keep 5-10 years in home filing system 
  • Pay Stubs= keep 12 months in home filing system
  • Bank statements, credit card statements, utility bills ect= Keep 3 months in home filing system
  • Employment records= always keep in home filing system 
  • Vehicle service/repairs= keep in home filing system for duration of ownership 
  • Diplomas, transcripts ect= keep in home filing system or safety deposit box 
  • Inventory of household goods= keep in safety deposit box with a copy in home filing system
  • Citizenship= carry card & keep stub or copy in home filing system 
  • Birth & marriage certificates= always keep in safety deposit box 
  • Vehicle title(s), purchase receipt(s), license(s) etc.= keep for duration of ownership in safety deposit box
  • Jewerly and/or papers and other valuables= keep in safety deposit box for duration of ownership
      And so, after a week of lots of sorting and even more shredding I'm so pleased to have this job done! Having a file and folder for everything will certainly aid in keeping things organized. I also use the file box for papers other than important documents. I have some generalized paper that I like to keep handy such as organization sheets, planners, crafty ideas, menu ideas etc. It's nice to have a place for all paper items in our home to be contained. For shorter term files (like the 3mo time frame for monthly billing statements), I can just place the new in front and take an old from the back. For all other files and folders a yearly clean out and update is now much more doable. Keeping important documents and paper clutter organized is very important because you never want to need something and then have to dig for it or even not find it at all. I believe that good organization within the home is an important homemaking skill in properly managing the home, and I especially believe that after the effort of this project of mine. :)


The file box with all
it's lovely labeled


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

And the winner is...

And this winner of the Homemaking 101 DVD is......     Kristin K.! Congratulations Kristin! I'll be sending you an email shortly to discuss the details of shipping it to you. Thank you everyone who participated! There are more giveaways yet to come! :)
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