Tag Archive | Shopping

Don’t Envy Her…

While standing in line at a checkout counter in a department store, I am reminded of times when people would have their shopping carts overflowing with merchandise and I would think to myself,  “Wow, I wish I had that kind of money”…”Some people have all the luck”… or even “it is just not fair”.

Black Friday has come and gone and I am reminded of those who are less fortunate and are not able to express their affections by giving gifts. While Christmas is not just about gifts it is important to remember Gifts is one of The Five Love Languages as is Words of Affirmation, Acts of Kindness, Touch, or Quality Time.

So receiving gifts is very important to those whose love language is Gifts; even when we don’t have the finances to make purchases. But should the desire to make those purchases push us to the point of being envious of what someone else has? I think not…

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

So rather than be envyous…You should get creative by thinking outside the box for that one of a kind gift that will forever remain a memory in the heart and mind of the person receiving the gift. The gift you put yourself into for that special someone. 

When Richard and I were first married we had very little if any extra money. Any extra we did have, we used it to ensure our girls had a good Christmas. I however also felt it was necessary to give gifts to all the family members so I had to get really creative.

Necessity, who is the mother of invention. Plato

With that in mind, I remember the year I took a tuna fish can, washed it, painted it with a decorative motif , filled it with pillow stuffing, then covered it with a cross stitch design held in place by a pretty ribbon, and placed dress pins in it. That year…a pin cushion was all I had to give.

While Richard was attending seminary we were especially stretched financially.  I remember gathering all the fabric remnants left over from the outfits I had made for the girls when they were little and used them to make a quilt for Brandi. It was the talk of the campus and each day the neighbor boys would come by to check on its progress. A lot of wonderful conversations took place during the making of that quilt. To this day she has that quilt displayed in her home.

As I have gotten older, I no longer feel an obligation to gift  family and friends; now it is a choice. If I see something which reminds me of someone I will gift them with it or if we know of someone in need we pray about how we can help meet that need.

For years now our Christmas gift to our family and friends has been to open up our home; providing a place for everyone to come together to make memories that will last a lifetime.

For the 32 years Richard and I have been married we have never exchanged a Christmas gift. We couldn’t afford gifts when we were first married and today we choose not to gift each other because gifts are not our love language. He gives me a hug (touch is my love language) and I tell him what a wonderful man and husband he is (words of affirmation is his love language) and we are set!

So, this Christmas I encourage you to think about the following:

  1. Jesus is the Reason for the Season
  2. Purchased Gifts are not Always the Best Gifts
  3. Know your loved one’s Love Language
  4. Memories will last a lifetime so make some great ones

And, when you see people’s shopping carts full…

Protect your bones…Don’t Not Envy Them

Love Lee ♥ 


Getting Rid Of The Clutter

It is difficult to see the beauty of a garden when it is taken over by unsightly weeds. In much the same way it is difficult to see all the beautiful treasures in your  home when there is clutter. Clutter is easy to accumulate but can be difficult to clean up.

Clutter, is not only distracting but it adds chaos to the home and for everyone in it! Clutter can literally suck the life out of you without you even knowing it! I have heard people say but I function best in clutter. To that I say Hog Wash! I believe people often use that excuse so they don’t have to deal with their junk!

Because we are created in God’s image we love the things he loves and because God is a God of order we too thrive in order! Think about it…even when He created, He did it in an organized fashion. Think about it…how silly would it have been for him to create the animals prior to creating the heavens and the earth. Sometimes it just makes common sense…right? I would like to encourage you to read

Genesis chapter 1&2 to fully appreciate God’s sense of order.

When  God created the garden of Eden He meant it to be an orderly, beautiful, and serene place for Adam and Eve. They too had a problems with clutter. Their clutter was in the form of sin. When they cluttered the Garden of Eden with sin the weeds began to grow and  it became known as the Garden of Weed’n…and God created work!

So thanks to Adam and Eve to take control of our surroundings and create a haven for our ourselves and our family is gonna take some work! Removing cluttering can be an overwhelming task especially if everything has emotional or sentimental attachment for you. Or, perhaps you are afraid to remove something from your home because you might need it again. If this describe you then perhaps you might want to begin your endeavor to declutter with a word of prayer asking God to give you the strength, wisdom, and courage to detach emotionally and to trust that He will supply all your needs according to His riches in Glory.

When it comes to housework, my husband often says if you will tell me what needs to be done  I will help. This is such a foreign thought to me…I tell him, “It is really easy. Just stand back and survey the room. Look at the hard surfaces? If it doesn’t go there….Do something about it.” Items displayed that do not contribute to the beauty of the room just need to go away!!! So, store it, donate it, or just throw it away!

So with that said…let’s get started. Below are the steps that have helped me in this area. I encourage you to do what best works for you unless it means not doing it!

  • Grab 3 large tubs or cardboard boxes and label them
    • Store: For items you absolutely do not want to part with or can not replace
    • Donate: For items still in good condition but you will not use
    • Toss: For items which no longer have a use and must be thrown away
  • Focus on one room at a time to reduce feeling of being overwhelmed
  •  Begin on the far side of the room and work your way to the door so when you leave the room it is finished and you have a sense of accomplishment
  • Touch each thing only once by making a one time decision to put it away, throw it away, or store it. If you choose to toss it or store it then put the item in the appropriate box as indicated. This prevents re-work
  • Do not remove items  once the item is assigned to a box! Let go…this is where you must deal with the emotions attached to your “JUNK”.

    If you do not have the strength or in-sight to be able to perform the steps above, perhaps bringing in a friend to help will provide the encouragement you need.

 While getting the clutter out is not easy, you will be amazed at the difference a sense of order can add to your life! 


I Encourage You To… DEAL WITH YOUR JUNK!!!

Love Lee ♥

Say Thank You


Saying “Thank You”  is so important especially when you are living in a thankless world. Do you receive those kind words, subtle niceties, or random acts of kindness with an attitude of gratitude or do you take them for granted?

It’s All About Manners 

We loved it when Richard’s grandmother, Gramma came to visit. She enjoyed playing games and one she played with our girls was “Please and Thank You” . It was a twist on “Go Fish”. When asking for a card you must say “Please” or you lose your turn. Then if you received the card you requested by saying “Please” but forgot to say “Thank You” you had to hand them back not only the card that was just handed to you but also the ones in your hand that matched that card. A great way to teach children manners. But, what about the kids or for that matter adults who did not have a Gramma to play  “Please and Thank You” with? Is it too late to develop an attitude of gratitude? I say it is never too late!

Recognize the Gift

It is important to recognize we must say, “Thank You” not only for those things we ask for but for those things which are given to us as a gift. But first we must recognize the gift and it is not always easy!

Several years ago, I was at work one day and my dear friend and neighbor came over to my house and mowed my yard. I was so surprised to find a perfectly manicured yard when I returned home. Immediately I knew who had done it. I walked over to her house and thanked her profusely for mowing for me…She stopped me right in the middle of my “Thank You” and said, “The gift was not a yard mowing. It was a gift of time. I wanted you take the time it would have taken you to mow your yard and apply it to the time you spend with Richard which is what you enjoy the most.” Suddenly the gift became even more valuable in my eyes.

A gift can come in many forms; a smile, a nod, a note or email, flowers…etc. The list could go on forever and that is why it is not always easy to recognize exactly what the gift might be. So, I challenge you to look for the hidden meanings as well as the obvious!

Acknowledge the Gift

Now that you have recognized a gift how did you acknowledge it? There are many ways to say “Thank You” …

For the casual gifts such as a smile, kind word, or deed a casual “Thank You” will work. Casual meaning an email, phone call, an e-card or even a Facebook post. But for those special gifts a formal “Thank You” is in order. Gifts given for a special occasion such as graduation, wedding, birth of a baby, or birthday warrant a more formal “Thank You” such as a “Thank You” card. When sending a “Thank You” it is important to remember…

  1. Avoid pre-printed “Thank You” cards but instead send one that is blank with an added personal hand written note. 
  2. Timing is everything so send the card within a week of the event or receipt of the gift.
  3. Content should be short with reference to the gift that was given.

America Has Lost Its Manners…We can begin now to teach the next generation how to be thankful…

Perhaps you could start by playing a game of “Please and Thank You”

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Love Lee ♥

Smith Family Reunion 2010

The Smith Family Reunion was the vision of Richard’s brother Mike. He made the statement wouldn’t it be great if all the family could get together each year. So Richard and I volunteered our home and that is how it all began.

Menues planned√…House Cleaned√…Firewood for the Pit √…Yardwork done√… Pool Cleaned√…Sleeping Arrangements for All√…Towels, Floats, and Toys√…

Now they are on their way! Each year the last week of May, family and friends from all over the US begins to make their journey to Jones Creek, Texas. They usually begin to arrive on Wednesday and stay through Tuesday the following week. So it is a week of family, friends, and fun…coupled with food, swimming, and grotto chats!

So much fun for all and each year the number grows.  Family members marry, babies are born, and new friends are made…Therefore, the more the merrier!

We are so honored to have the privilege of hosting this annual Smith event! The Family Reunion was a great idea! Thank You Mike!!!

Love Lee ♥