Book Review

Text Talk Tuesday- The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood

This multi-dimensional story features a 104 year old woman, a quirky, young boy and his imperfect family.  The boy is the title character of the book even though we learn of his death in the first chapter.  Oddly enough, we never learn his name, he is only referred to as “the boy.”

The boy is working towards a merit badge in boy scouts when he suddenly dies and so his father takes over his volunteer work for Ona Vitkus, the 104 year old woman he has promised to help for the next couple of months.  His father takes over the job and forms a bond with this somewhat-crotchety old lady.

I absolutely adored this book, even though it is certainly sad at times, it is touching and sweet.  The characters are real with many flaws which make you root for them all the more.  The ending was perfect.  I would not have changed a thing about it.  It’s the kind of book that has rich language and causes you to think about the most important things in your life.


21 Apps for Organizing your Life

Apps to help you Save Money, get organized, health & fitness and personal development

Saving Money

  1. Your bank- I put this first because it is so key.  My bank not only allows me to check my balance I can also perform transactions like fund transfers and bill payments.
  2. Cartwheel for Target– if you are a Target shopper, this is a great way to save money.  You can get an extra percentage off particular items, combine that with coupons, and save even more.
  3. Ibotta-I just started using this app again for saving money at the grocery store. You look through the deals that you want and go shopping.  My first revisit I saved $7.75!  Read through the directions to make sure that you are doing it correctly.
  4. Walmart– One of the easiest ways to save money with the Savings Catcher.  Just scan your receipt and the Walmart savings catcher does the work for you!  It looks for the items you purchased and compares prices of these things at other local stores.  If Walmart’s price is higher, they credit you the difference.  You can apply your savings to your next purchase.
  5. Your favorite stores- Kohl’s, Target.  It makes sense to download your favorite store’s app.  Kohl’s, for example, offers you a way to scan and store coupons, Kohl’s cash, Yes2You rewards and gift cards.
  6. Checkout 51– I just used this for the first time 2 days ago at the grocery store and I love how it easy it was to save money.  I saved $2.75 on my first visit.  Check out the deals offered this week, scan your receipt and they’ll send you an email telling you how much you saved on the particular deals they offered this week.
  7. Ebates–  Ebates works with stores and when you shop online at their stores through ebates, you get cash back.  My biggest problem is I forget to go to Ebates first.  You can also get cash for referring a friend.
  8. Letgo– I have not used this app, but from what I’ve read, it has gotten mostly positive reviews.  I’ve been looking for a bed for my daughter on Craigslist and now on Letgo as well.  You can sell your used items and post it on the app.
  9. Everydollar– Everydollar is an app created by Dave Ramsey.  He is an excellent teacher about how to save money and budget your money.  I highly recommend this and all of his books/products.  I did Financial Peace University several years ago and it changed the way I budget my money.
  10. Waze– my boyfriend has this app on his phone and swears by it 100%.  It is a GPS navigation app that gives directions, warns you about hazards,  traffic problems and police.  Not only could it save you from getting a traffic ticket, but it could also save you from an arguement with your significant other on your next car trip.

Health and Fitness

  1. 7 minute workout challenge– So quick, so effective.  7 minutes later you can check this item off your to do list and move on with your day!
  2. Map My Run– I am training for a 5K race on July 4th and I love this app for tracking my time and distance.  It’s not 100% accurate, but it’s close enough for me and keeps me motivated by tracking my progress.
  3. Sparkpeople– This is my favorite way to track my food and exercise.  Mostly what I love about it is the community of people who use this program.  They are so supportive and kind to each other.  There is an app to scan your food for easy tracking, track your exercise, sign up for challenges, start a blog and stay in touch with friends on the friend feed, blogs and message boards.


  1. Momo– I am a list freak (one reason why I love my planner) so I love this simple-to-use app.  Housekeeping is not my strong suit.  I think, “I should clean.” and that’s the end of my skills.  This app is awesome because it helps me keep my house clean and it takes NO THOUGHT.  I don’t have to even think about all the things that need cleaning.  I just look at my daily task list, do it, check it off and BOOM.  I’ve accomplished something!
  2. Evernote- I think of this like pinterest, but for text.  You can take notes, track tasks and clip things from the web and view it on your phone or computer.  Keep your projects and ideas organized.
  3. Pinterest– Who doesn’t love Pinterest?!  Everything you could want to know is there!  Create boards and pin pictures of things from the web that you want to remember for later.  Or things that you just wish you could do.  Or cute kitten videos.  Whatever.
  4. Cozi Family Organizer– Wow!  this is an amazing app for families.  My children are a bit older now, but it is still going to be great.  Everyone can log in and look at the family account.  It can send you reminders, you can add events to the calendar, have a shared grocery list (!), add photos and memories to the journal, and put recipes in the recipe box.

Personal Development

  1. Podcasts– I have several podcasts that I enjoy listening to:  Joyce Meyer, The Chalene Show, This American Life, Around the Table, Build Your Tribe, What Should I Read Next, Hidden Brain, BackStory with the American History Guys, Relevant Podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Revisionist History, Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules.  I guess 12 officially counts as more than several, but they are all great!
  2. Periscope – Periscope is a way to connect with people all over the world.  People broadcast through their phone and the viewers can interact in real time by typing comments that the broadcaster can see and respond to.  I like to follow teachers, bloggers and planners.  There are some creepers, but it can be a great way to increase your personal development.
  3. 5 Minute Gratitude Journal– I love this app.  I think it actually makes me a better person.  It can prompt you in the morning and again in the evening to think about the things that you are grateful for.  You can add a photo and fill in three things that you will do today to make it great.  Then in the evening it can prompt you to think of 3 amazing things that happened, and think about what you could have done to make today even better.
  4. Bible– I am currently reading my way through the Bible in one year by following a Bible reading plan.  There are lots of plans and bible studies but you can also look up a passage.  I’ve even used it in church to follow along with the preacher!  Phones in church?!  What is the world coming to?!  LOL

Searching for God- The Thirty Warriors #2

“I love all who love me.  Those who search will surely find me.” Proverbs 8:17

He was there all along, we just didn’t see it.  It’s like when you were in high school and the person you had a crush on drove a white truck.  All of a sudden, it seems like there were white trucks everywhere!  God was there all along, you just weren’t searching for him until now!

Is finding God like looking for a white truck-

How to search for God

  • Study the bible daily
  • Pray each day and throughout the day
  • Start a prayer journal
  • Go outside in nature
  • Go to church
  • Fellowship-Join a church group
  • Ask God to show you, then be still and patient
  • Show gratitude
  • Recognize that the Holy Spirit is in you, and in others as well

What does this look like in my Everyday Life?

Do I do all of these things everyday?  No, definitely not.  Would I like to?  Yes! Some versions of the bible say “those who seek me early shall find me.”  This could mean early, as in, before anything else or it could mean early in youth.  Since it’s too late to have started this in my youth, I think it’s safe to assume that this could mean early/before anything else/first in your heart and mind.

I’m a planner girl.  I actually have two personal planners, another one for business, one for my job and another one for taking notes and other misc. things.  It’s a bit of an obsession. (washi tape anyone?)

I know that for me, if something is going to get done and if it’s important to me, then it needs to be in my planner.  I have certain tasks that I try very hard to stick to each day.  I created a printable that you could print on sticker paper to use in your planner, or print it on regular paper and use washi tape or double sided tape to use in your planner.  The first column is for weekdays, the middle column for Sundays, the third column is for days when you are doing something with your church group- women’s ministry, bible study, knitting group, etc. and the final column could be personalized for your own needs.

search for god printable

To access the printable Click here.  I hope this helps you on your journey to seek God first!


Minding My Own Business

“and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: you should mind your own business, and work with your hands, just as we told you,”  1 Thessalonians 4:11

“those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin.”  Proverbs 13:3

This is super advice.  Absolutely true and very difficult to do.  I, for one, have at times, failed miserably at keeping my mouth shut.  I have gotten caught up in a moment and said something that I shouldn’t have.

Like the time I told my son that he was probably too big to be a race car driver- he’s 6’3″ and 220 pounds.  He was devastated.  I thought he knew!!

Or the time that I pulled an enormous hair off of my mom’s chin.  In front of about 8 people.  “Wow Mom, that’s huge!”  Oops.  Embarrassing.


Sometimes I just don’t think.  Thankfully, God forgives me (and eventually my mom did too).  But how can I prevent these kinds of missteps from happening again?

  1.  Fill my heart and mind with God’s word so that it comes out of me.  (ex.  stop watching the Real Housewives shows.  Talk about not minding your own business!) The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130
  2. Pray for God’s help. (ex. just because she’s wearing skin-tight, flesh-colored skinny jeans doesn’t mean that I have to tell her that’s a bad idea) May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing in your sight LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
  3. Be gracious. (ex. don’t point out or pull out other people’s chin hairs in public) Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and healing to the bones. Proverbs 16:24
  4. Look for and point out the good things that people are doing.  (ex. yes, it’s obvious they don’t know how to load a dishwasher properly, but at least the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher instead of on the counter RIGHT ABOVE IT!) He traveled throughout that area, speaking words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece Acts 20:2
  5.  Let the Holy Spirit be your guide, not posts on social media.  (ex. yes, that political joke was funny, but should you really repeat it?) This is what we speak, not in words taught by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining Spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 1 Corinthians 2:13

What strategies do you use to keep your words sweet?

Book Review

Text Talk Tuesday- Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

This is a retelling of Jane Austen’s book Pride and Prejudice and the fourth in a series of modern versions of her books.  Austen’s original was a witty story that poked fun at English society and this book does the same thing but in modern times in Cincinnati of all places!

In this version, Elizabeth Bennett is a writer for Mascara magazine, Jane is a yoga instructor, Mary is a scholar, and Lydia and Kitty are Crossfit junkies who don’t have jobs.  Mrs. Bennett is still remarkably and hilariously self-centered and Mr. Bennett just can’t be bothered with any of it.

When we join the story, Mr. Bennett has had heart trouble and all the girls come home to help.  Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy are doctors at the hospital and lucky for Mrs. Bennett, still rich!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; it is laugh out loud funny.  It pokes fun at all of us and somehow, I wasn’t offended.  The build up to the moment when all is settled is delicious, and though I couldn’t wait to get there, I was definitely sorry when the book was over.  I’m sure that I will go and get the other books in this series.

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The Thirty Warriors- Independence

How to GET an IDEA

My ex-husband has a few health problems.  These made it impossible for him to work outside the home.  Through no fault of his own, he became dependent on me and his disability check to meet his needs and provide for our family.  I learned that I was blessed to be able to work and provide for my family.  It was much better to be the one who was healthy enough to work than to be the one who couldn’t for health reasons.

1 Thessalonians 4:12 states,   So that you may bear yourselves becomingly and be correct and honorable and command the respect of the outside world, being dependent on nobody and having need of nothing.

Women have always been caught in a struggle between being submissive to their husbands and to God, and at the same time, being independent enough to take care of the home and family if they need to do so.

I felt like I needed to supplement my income, but I really didn’t have time to get another job outside of the home.  I wanted to have a business from home, but my problem was that I felt like I just didn’t have any good ideas for a business.  I was confident that once it started, that I could work the business, but I didn’t have any idea what it would be.

Here’s what I have learned about getting a good idea for a business from doing some research:

  1.  What do you love to do?  What are you good at?  Ask your friends, family and co-workers if you don’t know.
  2. What don’t you like?  If you’re going to work hard at creating a business, it has to be something you really enjoy. So if you don’t like sales, don’t try to sell makeup to your friends.
  3. Find a problem and solve it.  What is something that really bugs you that you would like fixed?  How to get rid of ants?  An easier way to organize your papers?  Somewhere to stash care for your mother-in-law when she can’t live alone anymore?  If it is bothering you, it’s probably a problem for others as well.
  4.  What are your talents and skills?  Maybe one of those could turn into a business for you.
  5.  Just start. It may not work out this time, and it may take several starts and stops, but at least you will learn a lot.

My First Post!

The name for this blog came from the Bible- 2 Samuel 23.  This chapter starts with the last words of King David and ends with a list of the men who were part of The Thirty.  Thirty mighty warriors who battled for King David against all odds.

This idea of “The Thirty” and “The Three of the Thirty” captivates me.  I’m not exactly sure why- maybe it’s something to do with being part of an elite group.  But in any case, I was thinking that this is an interesting story, but not particularly relevant to me today, as a woman with no army to fight.

However, as a woman in today’s society, I believe that we all need “warriors” to fight against the things that try to bring us down.  We need confidence, compassion and lots of energy! Just to name a few.

In fact I have at least 30 (there were actually 37 warriors in all, so I don’t feel bad for going over) “warriors” that Godly women need to do battle in today’s society.

I hope that you’ll join me in my journey to develop my own warriors and that this helps you to develop your 30.