Friday, March 24, 2017

5 Minute Friday-Embrace

Today's word for 5 Minute Friday is, "Embrace". For information, you can read here, 5 Minute Friday.

I think for most people, the word embrace brings to mind a loved one, especially soft, cuddly babies! Most of us tend to have very positive associations of this word, but one of the definitions of the word is, "to accept willingly or eagerly." It's not easy to accept willingly or eagerly a difficult coworker or trying circumstances, but it is possible. As we bring EVERYTHING to our heavenly Father, He embraces us with His unfailing love. Only in this way, can we embrace the seemingly impossible people and situations in our lives.

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Last weekend, I took a much needed break and enjoyed and visited a retreat center. I had gone on a few Christian women's retreats in the past, but this was my first time going alone and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The retreat center that I visited, Penuel Ridge is an interfaith retreat center. Although the facility encourages greetings and interactions among the guests, the hosts also expect that each guest's privacy will be respected. The facility offers has a main house and a cabin, offering accommodations for both groups and individuals.

I stayed at the rustic, lovely Dorothy Day Cottage. It provided the perfect mix of solitude and natural beauty, yet was close enough to the main house should I need anything or just wanted to visit the library housed there. Here are a few pictures from my time there:
Dorothy Day Cottage

Cottage interior

Cottage interior

The Well
I spent my time sleeping, reading,journalling, watching the birds outside my cottage deck, running and meditating. One of my favorite places was the well where one can go to pray, sing or meditate. There is a CD player with a few CD's available for guests' use, but I had brought a Selah CD😊

One of the books from the retreat library that I enjoyed and plan to purchase soon was Invitation to Silence and Solitude. by Ruth Haley Barton. Another book I had heard of, but never read, was Imitation of Christ, by Thomas a Kempis. I perused it and decided that this was one that I needed to add to my personal library.

I would encourage all believers to take time for a retreat experience. It truly is a blessing mind, body and spirit. If you are in or near middle TN and would like to retreat, check out, Penuel Ridge

Monday, March 6, 2017

Money Monday

One of the primary ways that I am learning to save is in the area of groceries/food. I regularly shop Kroger and Sprouts, but also make an occasional trip to United Grocery Outlet. My children call it, "Ugly Grocery Outlet"! Hey, it might not have the sleek and modern design of other stores, but I have found great deals on organics and gluten free products as well as some family favorites like Pillsbury Toaster Strudel, Breyer's Ice Cream, Dove Bars, California Pizza Kitchen Pizza. They don't complain then!

Recently, I discovered a liquidation store in our area. Although, the primary merchandise was non food items, I was pleasantly surprised to find the food items below:
I got 6 packages of K-Toos gluten free cookies, a package of 12 HeartBar oatmeal squares and  4 8-oz  packages of golden ground flaxseeds for $9 On Amazon, the cookies retail for $20.12, the HeartBars retail for $12.81 and the ground flaxseed retails for $21.68. That's a savings of over $40!

As you can see, there are substanstial savings to be had grocery shopping "outside the box", but there are a few disadvantages:

1. Shopping at outlets and liquidation stores is like a box of chocolates. "You never know what you're going to get." 
2. Some items may be past their "best by date" which means the quality might diminish but it is still safe to eat. My 9 yr-old is our expert date checker!
3. There are no free samples, bright displays, etc and coupons (at least the one I shop) are not accepted. 

Check out some of these stores in your area, you may find some great deals!