A-B-C Affirmations

April 24, 2017

Last Father’s Day, my family and I were riding in our vehicle. We stumbled upon something we now call A-B-C Affirmations.

It started because the kid’s dad is great at sharing words of affirmation. These are words that talk about a person’s character traits or ways of being in a positive light. So we decided to give him some affirmations to celebrate his special day.

Someone said, “Hey let’s give one for each letter of the alphabet. We can go around the truck.” I’m not sure who started, but it was really meaningful to him and fun for us. It was so meaningful, that he took out his smart phone and started recording the moment.

For the rest of that calendar year and going forward, we do A-B-C Affirmations for birthdays, Father’s Day, Siblings Day and now coming up Mother’s Day. We even did them for Jesus, at the CHRISTmas party for our Bible study group.

I share this idea in hopes you will take a few minutes to affirmations for your Mom and anyone else you want to show love to. The following will help you see how it works, it’s the list we created in March, for our son KJ’s 22nd birthday:

A – Abiding in the Lord (Said Dad)

B – Believer (Said Mom)

C – Chicken finger lover (Said Koah, his 11-year-old sister)

D – Determined (Said Kyler, his 20-year-old brother)

E – Earth shaking laugh when coaching volleyball and playing 2K

F – Fashion sense – KJ loves the two jacket look

G – Gangster (little OG) Koah says because KJ’s co-workers call his dad the OG

H – Humble

I – Identical to Kenny (Said by his Dad)

J – Jumper – Says mom, per the photo that KJ took touching the ceiling to show his hops.

KJ Ceiling

K- Knowledgeable of history

L – Lively, Lit (hyped) Likeable

M – Me (said again by the name sharing Kenneth Vance Wilson, Sr.) millennial, marvelous

N – Not worried

0 – Opinionated and original

P – Peanut Butter Eater (The whole fam says this because KJ is largely a non-meat eater.) He is also precious, valuable and needed.

Q – Quite the gentleman, quick silver the super hero

R – Road observant (Says mom, to whom he is always giving driving advice)

S – Shopper at H&M

T – Thinker (Says Kyler, a student at OSU)

U – Unafraid

V – Vance-tastic, KJ’s middle name is Vance

W – Westbrook (For similarities to Russell Westbrook)

X – Xanadocious (The quality of xanady) X is a tough letter and we often make up words for this one. I believe Kyler made up this word.

Y – Young

Z – Zealot for Christ

We don’t always write these down, but KJ said I could share them for this post. Thanks son!

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Please let me know how your A-B-C Affirmations go. This can give us all some new ideas!

Continued Blessings – Home-ista Kelly

 

 

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Ironically I’ve not yet seen a top ten list of New Year’s resolutions for 2017 or 2016 from a professional research organization, but in 2015 Nielsen reported that 18% of people want to get more organized and I would guess that holds true every year.

As a person who helps people achieve their goals, I know this is a common one that makes a world of difference. Knowing where your stuff is, when you need to get to it, saves time, money and reduces stress. And having a comfortable and attractive place to live or work makes life better. When I work with clients to help them improve their level of being organized, I use principles from the Bible, because they work.

I wish all of the concepts were laid out in one place. But like many specific topics, they are spread throughout the Scriptures and this makes perfect sense because the Bible has 66 books, by 40 authors and was written over a span of 1500 years.

That said, if you are seeking to get your home, office, calendar and life tidy, logically arranged and functioning effectively please contact me for help and in the meantime, here are a few principles from the One who created the world and all its systems:

You are to bring in the table and set out the things that belong on it; then you are to bring in the lampstand and set up its lamps. Exodus 40:4 (NET)

Your grandmother was right… have a designated place for everything and then put things in their designated place.

Most clutter happens because people don’t know what to do with our stuff. (This happens to everyone I know, myself included.) For example, my daughter brings home papers from school and in the old days they would sit on the kitchen counter. But now we have a designated school binder. It has the wonder pocket tabs.

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Papers that we need to keep for information, or to study for a test, etc., go into the binder and then the binder goes on a cabinet in the kitchen, right it is used. Other papers get tossed or recycled. If she has a cool drawing of project I may take a snapshot of her with the item so we have a record and then it get tossed and she has a really special item she has a keepsake box in her room or it might even get framed and hung.

It does take time and diligence to create a logical “address” for the stuff in our lives, but it is well worth the effort and is key to being organized. In the verse above, God is giving Moses a very detailed set of instructions to set up the place where He would meet with His people. And though our spaces are not as formal as that place, our homes and offices and classrooms and vehicles, etc., will function better if we know where things are and they are logically organized.

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Therefore be very careful how you live – not as unwise but as wise, taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16 (NET)

Use your time wisely.

I use to waste time “browsing” online stores for items that I didn’t need and likely couldn’t afford. I’d plan to search for 10 minutes and 60 minutes later, I was mad that I got caught in the time-waste-vortex, because God’s know I have too much to do.

Using my daily calendar helps me waste less time. I think about what I need and want to do, then schedule time to do it. This might include some online shopping, but I try to set my phone timer so that 10 minutes stays as 10 minutes. I use mu calendar for important things and urgent things alike. Reading my Bible first thing in the morning is very meaningful to me. So is watching University of Cincinnati Basketball, which is date night quality time with my husband when he asks me to watch with him. And yes I the usual work assignments and appointments .

Most importantly, I find that praying about how God wants me to use my time, invites Him into the process and He helps me to get more done.

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Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)

Be focused and balanced…

I love this verse. In a nutshell it says, that a stable stays clean if there are no oxen, but during Bible days oxen were needed to make a living. To me, that means that some amount of clutter is evidence of a productive life. And cleaning, stooping, composting, etc., is required. So yes, you have a laptop or pots and pans or exercise equipment that enable you to do what you need to do. Just arrange them so they are well cared for and positioned attractively.

It is wise to be balanced regarding possessions as you pursue a well-organized life.

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Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)

Get help from a friend or professional to get organized if you need it. I need help with many things because they are not my area of expertise. I am grateful for those who provide support. And – I am grateful that some people are willing to forgo other things or risk embarrassment in order to hire me to help them get organized. I help them to succeed.

It is a privilege and a joy to see a space go from dominated by clutter to arranged, tidy, organized… Yes!

I hope these principles will encourage you to achieve greater organization in 2017.

Kelly

The Best Gifts

December 21, 2016

I love CHRISTmas. I am grateful that God choose to come to earth as a man. Sometime that love gets lost in the buying, wrapping, cooking, decorating, hosting, cleaning, driving and every-other-thing-ing.

This year, I didn’t feel like putting up decorations when I typically do it. But I heard God say in my heart, “you like it when people celebrate your birthday. I like it when you celebrate My half-birthday.” (Jesus was likely born in the spring.) I laughed, because He is right. My birthday is on Halloween and I always say that everything that happens – is happening – for me. So this season, I tried to remember that everything I did was for Him.

I put wreaths in the dining room, garland on the stairs, and fresh evergreens in vases. We put up two trees. The small one is in our family room. It’s pretty and delicate, but had no gifts under it. One morning while sitting near it, I came across a Bible passage that noted how God gives us grace and peace and boy do I need grace and peace.

It dawned on me that the very best gifts I have are not things at all, but salvation, hope and love.

So I decorated empty boxes with oversized tags that remind me of the gifts God gave me in sending His son, and placed them under that tree.

I encourage you to strategically place a few “labeled” boxes in your home to remind yourself of His great love. I know you will be blessed for it.

Wishing you a Merry CHRISTmas & Joyous New Year

Kelly

 

One of the nine…

November 23, 2016

I had the honor to speak at chapel for my daughter’s school on 11/16/16. I love speaking to the 4th 5th and 6th graders at Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy and their teachers and administrators.

This time I was assigned “thanksgiving” as the topic, which was way better than “forgiveness” which I had last time. Or so I thought…

The presentation started really well as I shared the meaning of the word “thanksgiving” as found in Psalm 95:2 and Psalm 100:4. These were the anchor verses I’d been given. But, because my daughter Koah warned me to “not be boring,” we added a short skit with 13 students from her religious studies class. Two teachers had even given all of the “actors” a tunic from another event. We were doing a skit from a day in the life of Jesus, as He healed the Ten Lepers.

ten-lepers

Ten Lepers By Larry Patton (www.larrypatton.com)

As background leprosy was/is a devastating disease of the central nervous system. It made the body numb and caused lepers to injury their limbs, eyes, faces. Often they had sores and deformities. To make it worse the disease was highly contagious. If a person contracted it, he or she was banished from society. The afflicted loss their family, friends, job, synagogue, wealth… lives. Lepers often lived together, but isolated away from everyone else.

This story also confronts what sounds like 21st century bigotry. One of the lepers in the story is noted as a Samaritan. To our modern ears we hear this in context that is much different than the original audience. Samaria was at one time the capital of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. But it fell quickly into sin and was judged by God. It was captured and its enemies moved in and took over. In time the Jewish people intermarried with the Gentile captors. The rest of Israel referred to Samaria’s citizen base as despised half-breeds. The Jewish people in the southern Kingdom hated the Samaritans so much that they would walk miles and miles out of the way to avoid going through Samaria, even through it was the direct route through the territory.

With this said, the actual story is short so I’ll share it directly from Luke 17:11-19 (Amplified Bible)

While Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing [along the border] between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, He was met by ten lepers who stood at a distance; and they raised their voices and called out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were [miraculously] healed and made clean. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, glorifying and praising and honoring God with a loud voice; and he lay face downward at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him [over and over]. He was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten [of you] cleansed? Where are the [other] nine? Was there no one found to return and to give thanks and praise to God, except this foreigner?” Jesus said to him, “Get up and go [on your way]. Your faith [your personal trust in Me and your confidence in God’s power] has restored you to health.”

Lessons:

  • Jesus is available to those who seek Him

When the lepers cried out, He was listening and responded

  • Everyone Needs Jesus

Whether we know it or not, we all need His offer of salvation

  • Jesus is willing and able to help/heal

What ever your situation Christ has the ability to make a difference

  • It is wise to ask for His help
  • We have a role – to obey

The lepers were healed as they walked. Obedience to His instruction is crucial.

  • Thankfulness is a choice

Only one person who was healed choose to thank Jesus

  • Those who are thankful get closer to Him

The Samaritan, was in a sense the furthest from Christ as an “outsider” but he was the only one who was healed of leprosy, but had the privilege of having a true and conversation with Jesus. He was brought closer, by expressing thanksgiving.

  • When we give thanks we lift Jesus up and encourage others to receive Him

By sharing our thankfulness with others, we have the opportunity to tell them about Christ and how good He is

As I was sharing the above lessons from the story I was hit with a big aha… I asked the student why did the others not come back. And God said to me… maybe they think they DESERVED to be healed. Kelly, maybe this why YOU are not always thankful. You believe that you deserve my grace.

Yikes!!!!!  As I heard God’s words to me, I’m sure that my expression was that of horror, sadness, and conviction. I was so taken aback that I just shared the revelation with the audience right then. And they looked the same way. Am I really one of the nine?

I am. But prayerfully, not going forward. From now on I am the tenth. I am going to thank God privately and publicly for what He does and I am going to praise Him for who He is. (Because He does what He does, because He is, who He is.)

Here is my challenge to you and me. It’s called 1-4-2.

Praise God at least 1 time, before you start your day. Ideally when you open your eyes and realize that you are awake and lived through the night. Some days I do this. But candidly some days I am downstairs in the kitchen having a cup of coffee and it is not until 15-20 minutes that I say, Good Morning Father. Thank You for giving me life. Some days, it’s much later.

4 is thanking God, four times throughout the day while you are at school, work, running errands, raising your kids. I asked the kids and parents that day for ideals on what we could thank God for: passing a test, pizza for lunch, no homework, enough money to get a full tank of gas, for health, a new pair of show, that we can read, we have enough food, our family, our jobs, etc., etc., etc.

2 encourages us to thank God, at least two more times when you get home or in the evening. Ideally one of these times is when you climb back into bed, as you are grateful to have survived another day.

On this Thanksgiving-Eve in the United State I challenge you to give thanks using 1-4-2 daily between now and CHRISTmas.

If you don’t do it, no condemnation, just try again when you remember. And if you do, no haughtiness, because it is only by God’s grace that we do anything well.

I’d love to hear what you think and how it goes… Thank You Lord, for allowing me to share what You told me to share. May if bring people closer to You, myself included.

Happy Thanksgiving, on Thursday 11-24-16 and everyday!!!

Kelly

Encouragement

June 7, 2016

I stopped my SUV in the parking lot of the church behind my daughter’s school like I do most mornings. I flipped the visor and mirror door to apply my blush and lipstick.

To my surprise was a “Post-It” note was taped on the mirror with blue painters tape. It was from my 10-year-old daughter and said “you are beautiful”

I laughed and wondered when she had time to execute this precious show of love and encouragement. Not only was I touched by her affection I was impressed by her thinking ahead.

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Aside from making me feel like a queen, her words of affirmation and encouragement reminded me of the power of a kind word to build a person up.

I’m asking each person who reads this post to place a post-it-note with a word of affirmation or encouragement on a desk, night stand, lunchbox, lamp, mirror, underwear drawer, cabinet door, etc., and really make someone’s day. You might be changing a life in the process.

“So encourage each other and build each other up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

After your “encouragement target” sees the post-it – please post it – to this blog!

Carrot & stick incentive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the end of each calendar year, I always pray for ideas to make the next year better. Here is my top ten list as of today. Maybe some of these will work for you too.

  1. If I am what I eat, I want to be made up of good things. Eating healthier foods and beverages will give energy and help with weight management. Whole foods will be featured at every meal.
  1. Water will be the beverage of choice. Soda will be a “treat” rather than a staple.
  1. Take a few minutes on Saturday or Sunday to plan your dinner meals for the upcoming week. You can capture the plan on your calendar or smart phone notes.

Sunday – Lasagna & Spinach Salad

Monday – Teriyaki Chicken Wings, Brown Rice & Mixed Veggies

Tuesday – Roast Beef, Baked Potatoes & Corn

Wednesday – Beef Soup (made from leftover Roast Beef) and Super Salad

Thursday – Baked Chicken, Hash Browns & Salad with Beets & Goat Cheese

Friday – Pizza from Donatos (Kenny & Kids – Pepperoni, Kels – Veggie)

Saturday – Scrounging leftovers from the week’s meals

  1. Try to move more throughout the day. Experts say walking 10,000 steps each day is great for our hearts, bodies and minds. Stand up – while you type at your desk. Park far away from the door and use the walk from the parking lot to get some extra steps. Take the stairs up. Secure a pedometer in an after CHRISTmas sale.
  1. Get and stay connected. Call a friend while driving to work. Have a lunch date with your honey-boo. Text your tweens, teens and young adults between meetings. Write a hand-written letter to an older relative; ask him/her to respond to your family history questions.
  1. Laugh more.
  1. Hire a coach to help you set and achieve meaningful goals. Check out http://www.betterdaybetterlife.com for one approach.
  1. Take time to rest. Some days I realize that I hardly sat down all day. I don’t want to live like that anymore. This year I will rest more and take time to savor the moment. I might have some full days of Sabbath where I plan ahead and just focus on Christ.
  1. Fret less and pray more. Lean on God’s word as found in the Holy Scriptures. Philippians 4:19 says, And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (NIV). Memorize this verse and then speak it to yourself as needs arise throughout the day.
  1. Spend quality time with God, your Creator and Lord, daily. Perhaps the first 10-30 minutes can be spent in prayer and reading your Bible. (Start with the Gospel of Matthew and read through Acts by July 4th.) You might have to go to bed 30 minutes earlier, to be up early enough to get a good soaking in His word. It will be worth every moment that you invest, paying eternal dividends. I wish you a productive and joyful 2016!

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And we’re walking…

December 1, 2015

My dear friend Tracy had a fabulous 50th birthday party in October. She is a sweetheart and looks great. I’m sure few people would guess that she was born in 1965. Her husband hired a professional photographer for the event. A few weeks later Tracy was gracious to email pictures to guests. They featured the person or groups who were in the photo. But there is bad news… when I opened the photos that featured moi, I was aghast at how many l.b.s.’ I have gained.

In my best Martin Lawrence as Sheneneh voice – I have to say – “Oh my goodness.”

Image result for Sheneneh Jenkins

Okay so now that I have new awareness of the situation I’ve got to make changes and I am calling on Leslie Sansone to help. Aside from changing my diet I am going to start using her walk at home video series. It helped me in the past and I trust it will help again.
Leslie Sansone is an internationally recognized fitness expert and creator of the Walk at Home fitness program. Her walking videos are easy to use and fun. I love that I can watch by DVD and now play them on YouTube.com using an adapter on my TV. It is especially helpful that I can walk early in the morning in my family room before going to work, since walking outdoors is tough because it’s so dark.

So hopefully in the upcoming weeks and months I will be walking my way to a stronger heart and thinner torso. What a great gift from me to me!

Sansone

 

 

 

 

 

Home-ista Kelly

It’s the last few days to prepare for CHRISTmas 2012. For many of us, the road to this point has been rocky, as communities mourn over numerous tragedies, and particularly the recent events in Newtown, Connecticut.

Three Wreaths on our front door. They are connected with weatherproof scarves.

Three Wreaths on our front door. They are connected with weatherproof scarves.

I was torn whether to Blog  – and then I was reminded that the reason for this whole CHRISTmas affair – is the only hope for those who mourn.

So I am writing to remind others and myself that in the midst of senseless tragedy, God is the only One who can ease the fear, who can diminish the pain, who can bring peace – when there is no human reason for peace. The One True God is the Father of Jesus, and He is the reason for this season.

As you continue your preparations – the shopping and cooking, the eating and cleaning, the visiting others and hosting visitors, the crying and laughing… please remember that this huge celebration is a half-birthday* party, for the Son of God. We give gifts to each other to remember His gift to each of us.

Jesus gives people the way to be reconciled to God. His gift helps us to enjoy the knowledge of good and by His grace to ultimately overcome the knowledge of evil. If we receive Him, we will become the sons and daughters of God – and there is no better gift than that.

So practically speaking here are some ideas to try

Have cake with candles before or after you open your CHRISTmas gifts. (We eat the birthday cake with our breakfast on CHRISTmas morning.)

Open your home to people with the motive to provide a place of emotional “rest” for those who are weary and who carry heavy burdens.

Don’t sweat so many of the detail this year. Eat what you already have. Clean what is really dirty, but ask folks to show grace for the small things. They probably won’t notice.

Play games that create opportunities to talk.

Blow up balloons. Scatter them around the tree or in the dining room. I think birthday parties are better with balloons.Blog Balloon CHRISTmas

Be mindful that we might be allowing loved ones to partake in violence as they interact with video games, movies, and television, etc.  Becoming desensitized to violence is a dangerous thing. Instead let’s make every effort to focus on things that are good, peaceful, kind, funny, thoughtful, and godly.

Eat some healthy foods along with the not so healthy fare.

Pray.

Wishing you a joyous celebrate of His birth…

Home-ista Kelly

* Many Bible scholars believe that Jesus was born in the springtime. The winter CHRISTmas celebration is six months later, and in a sense, a half birthday.

Even as one-third of the Eastern United States braces for a big storm, I can’t help but hope that our community gets to go Trick or Treating on Halloween night. I guess part of it is because October 31st is my birthday and I love the idea that so many kids are celebrating. And, more importantly, it is a perfect opportunity to show the love of Christ to the people who ring our doorbell.

Before you start typing a rebuttal email, I ask you to consider two passages from the Bible:

This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and the regaining of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19

  • The enemy has not created any days. Every day belongs to God and October 31st is no different. So I am going to rejoice by giving out candied blessings to the people who come to Trick or Treat.
  • God has given His followers the ability and responsibility to share the good news of His love with other people so that they can be fully connected with Him. One simple way to share this message is with the treat you giveaway.

This year our church staff made it super easy for us. They provided stickers that read “Because God Loves you BIG! (Not just fun sized.)” And they encouraged us to buy large-sized candy bars to give away. You can create your own version on your computer, just tape them to the candy and maybe include the website URL for the place where you worship.

Our family usually gives a sample Adventure in Odyssey CD to the first 20 families along with some candy. (Adventures in Odyssey is an outstanding children’s radio program that teaches faith-based concepts in a creative storyline. Check your local radio station for air times, or listen online at http://www.whitsend.org.)

If you have already bought a bunch of fun sized candy packs, maybe you can bundle them with a note that says – Here’s some Fun Sized Candy to say, “I love you” from a Super Sized God.

I hope you will share your stories of how you are putting the meaning into Halloween.

Blessings to you and yours,

Home-ista Kelly

Likes! Potato Chips…

July 21, 2012

I almost hate to tell people about these, because the shelves will be empty of bags even more frequently than they are now.

But it is right to share good stuff when you find it.

The Whole Foods Brand 365 Everyday Value Sea Salt Rippled Potato Chips are the bomb. They are light, crispy and flavorful. They have become the favorite of my oldest son, who is a potato chip aficionado. Whenever I have served these to guests, they always say, “What kind of chips are these? They are delicious.”

Of course the chips are not cheap at $2.99 for a 10 oz bag. But they are worth every penny.

And nutritionally, they are not terrible as far as chips go. According to myfitnesspal.com there are 150 calories in a serving of 15 chips.

Calories 150 Sodium 170 mg
Total Fat 9 g  Potassium 290 mg
Saturated 2 g Total Carbs 15 g
Polyunsaturated 3 g Dietary Fiber 1 g
Monounsaturated 5 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 1 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 0%
Vitamin C 10% Iron 2%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie/day diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

So if you want a bit of crunch to go with your homemade hamburger or turkey sandwich on wheat, these are an excellent choice.

Wishing you delicious and responsible snacking,
Home-ista Kelly