Faithwalk: Nature’s Museum

Usually when I go on vacation, museum musing is a must. I enjoy artifacts, sculptures, paintings, photographs of varied centuries and cultures. So, while in VIrginia I did not imagine nature’s museum in Shenandoah National Park. Check out the majestic waterfalls, a brilliant butterfly, rocky terrain, knotty trees, wild flowers and Corbin’s cabin–the first .

Faithwalk: Patience is the key

Last year at the Philadelphia Greater Christian Writer’s Conference I stood in line talking to a lady about shopping. I don’t recall the conversation completely; however, I’m sure she complimented my sandals and I said these are my favorite: $7 at DSW.

“My sister is a sale shopper. I’m too impatient,” she said.

“I didn’t always enjoy shopping either,” I said. “I just made it work for me based on my lifestyle.”

“You should write a how to article about how to save money.” She handed me her card. “Let me know when you write it.”

Several months ago, while riding the Metro North downtown with my friend she complimented my sweater.

“$19.99 at Daffy’s marked down from $90,” I said.

“I rarely find bargains,” she said. “I don’t like to shop it takes too much time. I see it, I buy it.”

“My best friend is a bargain shopper, and after a decade of shopping with her and having teen girls, I’ve learned to have a bit more patience.”

Recently, a friend watched me cut open the lotion tube. “It’s not really empty, there’s more in the bottom,” I said.

He laughed. ” Wow you really are [frugal].”

“It works with toothpaste as well,” I said.

Amazingly, I have not always been frugal; I’ve lived a good part of my life in the wasteful lane buying overpriced clothes, tossing away good stuff. Now don’t get me wrong: there are times when I want something I will get it despite the cost; cause sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants.

So, to the lady at the writer’s conference, almost one year later, I share 7 tips that save time and money—please beware that often one has the money and not the time or the time and not the money. Patience is the key.

  1. What woman doesn’t love shoes? One day I spotted a pair of sandals at DSW for $99. Three weeks later those shoes were on sale rack for $19.99. Now, I check the sales rack first, and try not to spend more than $25 on a pair of shoes.
  2. I keep a list of out and about errands, so when I’m out I stop at stores on the northbound side, and then on the southbound side to avoid making U-turn’s and to save gas.
  3. When traveling, I fill up my gas tank the night before.
  4. I love books; but my budget limits the amount I purchase. Therefore, the library is my friend. I go online to my local library, order books, and wait for the librarian to call for pick up. And when I decide to buy a book, I’m the reader that needs to flip pages, I make sure it’s an author I don’t mind having in my house.
  5. Coupons are money-savers. However, avoid coupons when the manufacturer insists that the buyer spend $75 to get $25 off or $100 to get 30% off. The point is to spend as little money as possible. Instead use $10 or $20 coupons on an item that is about $1 or $2 more than the coupon, or of equal value. I’ve bought jewelry at Kohl’s for less than a $1 with 10 coupons.
  6. Anything I can complete in two minutes or less, I complete at that moment.
  7. I pick one day during the month, and slum. No going outside, no visitors. Pajamas all day. Sometimes it’s a holiday: Memorial Day, Labor Day, a snow day, or a Saturday with no meetings or plans.

Faithwalk: Voices of Other Souls

Several years ago, a writing teacher instructed us to fill our notebooks and journals with seeds of other people’s words and phrases. She said, sometimes other people’s voices can inspire us to create, and challenge our way of thinking. I have found gathering seeds of other people’s words and phrases, and sometimes sentences, forces me to pay attention when reading or listening, and then a brings on change or affirms truth. Here is a list of seeds that motivated, challenged, and reshaped my thinking.

When you’re an insecure teenager, you build walls and defenses and masks…

Only confident people are comfortable wearing their vulnerabilities on their sleeve.

Take a moment to unplug. Leave your device in one place or refuse to carry it around all day.

When on vacation for a week, a weekend, or a day, endure the boredom. Do nothing.

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.

Just once make some excuse and get out of the classroom, the cubicle, the office, the house, the office, and go outside and play.

Theories and grand idea are important. But they seldom unfold as planned. People—it is all about people. Colin Powell on David Halberstam’s book “The Best and Brightest”

I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, 
 who can’t see where they’re going.
I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country.
I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.
These are the things I’ll be doing for them— sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute (Isaiah 42:16 The Message).

When we want to know God’s will, here’s the checklist of three occurrences: 1) the inward impulse 2) the Word of God 3) the trend of circumstances.

Stop snacking on bits of God’s Word, eat the Word!