10 Ways to Get More Stuff Done

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Goodmorning Everybody! I am particularily excited about this post, mostly because I have struggled with my daily to-do list for a long time (and let’s be honest, I still do). These 10 tips have helped me enormously in getting more ofmy responibilites done not only on-time, but more efficiently. It also helped me have more time to futher my relationships, this blog and so much more.

Whatever your goal is, I am positive that at least one of these will help you. So let’s dig in!

1. Evaluate Your Priorities.

Take 10 minutes to list your priorities and to examine who or what is important to you. Keep this list in a place where you can look at it frequently, and make sure the big stuff comes first.   So many (many) times I find myself wasting precious time by goofing around on Pinterest or Facebook which takes away time from what is really important to me. Once you have your priorities in line, everything comes smoothly after.

2. Set the Timer

This may be one of my favorites. I work the best under pressure, so when I know that I only have 15 mintues to tidy my room or do the dishes I try my best to race to the finish line and beat the timer. Plus, limiting yourself on things like social media is real time saver because if I’m honest with myself then I know it’s a real addiction.

3. Wake Up Earlier

Obviously This isn’t going to apply to everybody, but for me I find that I am most motivated and proactive between the hours of 6am-2pm. Once 2:00 rolls around All of that determination has flown out the window. I use my afternoons for things like social media, tv, reading, crocheting, and things that don’t require a super amount of focus and attention.

4. Make a Daily To-do List

Create a list of things that absolutely have to get done every. single. day. This goes along with making priorities. Once I have my daily checklist comepletely finished, I can continue on to anything else I want/need to do. For example, my daily to-do list includes: 1)Clean Bedroom 2)Clean Kitchen 3)Tidy up Bathroom 4) Any School Assignments Due 5)Bible Time/Devotion

Once I have that done I can go on to working on Lively Laughter, Teacups and Blossoms, and so forth.

5. KISS- Keep. It. Simple. Silly.

Keep your to-do list short and daily goal measurable. I am the queen of overestimating the day and getting discouraged quickly. Keep your to-do list to an absolute maximum of 7 things. Also don’t write down vague undescriptive tasks. Instead of “Clean House” break it down into specific, doable tasks such as “Clean Bathroom” or “Vaccum Floors” The same can apply to free-time tasks. Instead of “read a book” put “Read for 30 mins” or “read one chapter of…”

I’ve noticed that the more specific the tasks are the more likely I am to do them and the less open to interpretation thay are.

6. Turn Off Electronics

Yes, that includes TV, Computers, Phones, Tablets, video games, etc. Electronics are very distracting and alluring. It’s to tell yourself that you are only to quickly check that notification from Facebook and the next thing you know it’s an hour later and it was all for naught.

This one if probably my biggest struggle, but when I stick to this habit I notice a big difference.

7. Do Not Multitask

“Oh don’t worry! I can easily work while watching this movie. For every task I get done, I get to watch ten minutes, see?!”

Sorry, that doesn’t work. I try to make it work every single time but so far- no enchalada. If you put all of your focus and energy into one task at a time it will not only get done faster, but instead of having an entire list of half-completed projects, you have half a list of completed projects.

8. Keep a Pen or Pad on Hand

All day, everyday I have different ideas for things to look up, explore, new tasks, and blog post promts that it’s so hard not to do it right away! When something pops into my head I quickly write it down so I can let it go {insert snow flury here) and move on, otherwise I either take a bunch of rabbit trails, forget this “amazing” idea, or both.

9. Take a Break ONLY When Tired

I’m talking headache, stressed, utterly distracted, tired. I used to use breaks as a reward system between assignments or tasks, but what would happen is that after my break I would continue having a break instead of going back to work. I mean, who wants to work when you can watch Netflix?!

I struggle with discontentedness, and knowing that I can take break even when I have the motivation to do stuff is a major danger zone for me.

10. De-Clutter

I am a HUGE supportive of de-cluttering. Look around your work space (wherever that may be) and remove any possible distractions. Put away the dishes, fold clothes, and get rid of anything that would result in a greater possibility of you getting distracted.

I promise that if you sincerly to commit to one or all of these these tips then you are on your way to xhexking those boxes and opening up minutes (if not hours).

So you have any tips to stay focused or to get more done throughout the day?

With Love and Blessings,

~Rebekah Elaine

2015 Dreams and Goals

So, I have been debating about whether or not I was going to write this post, but in the end I decided that would. I don’t really like making New Year’s Resolutions or hearing people talk about what they want to change about themselves, their lives, or making plans about things they want to accomplish in the new year- mostly because I am of the mind set that January isn’t some “magical” day a year that somehow resets and washes a person clean. If you’re a Christian, that day happened a long time ago. We should live everyday as new creations!

Another problems I have found with making plans is that God is going to take you places that you never imagined, places where it is impossible to make plans.

With all of this in mind, This is what I am doing to grow in 2015

In 2015 I am…

  • Doing the 2015 in 2015 Declutter Challenge. I have been dipping my toes into minimalism, but this year I am going to emabrace it. You can read about the challenge Here.
  • Doing the 2015 Reading Challenge by PopSugar. I am doing this challenge with my dear friend Nicole in order to expand our reading horizen. You can read about the challenge Here.
  • Doing Month at a Glance. You can track your goals/habits on a monthly, weekly, and daily base all on the same page. I LOVE checking off boxes, so this works really well for me. You can print out your own free sheet Here.
  • Taking a picture everyday. On Dec. 31st I want to be able to look back at a bunch of memories I wouldn’t have otherwise.
  • Going to live a joyful and simple lifestyle. This means being content where God has me, keeping my life as simple as possible in order to have more time focusing on Christ. (This is going to be a looong journey)
  • Going to work on having a gentle and loving spirit. I have always had a harsh, rough, and selfish spirit which is not glorifying to God. So this year (and the years to come) I am going to be changing my heart with the grace, love, mercy, and power of God.

So there you have it! This may sound like a lot, but I keep all of these printables on a single clipboard and reminders of my desire to live a joyful, simple lifestyle and to have a gentle, loving spirit on an index card which is also kept on the clipboard.

What are doing in 2015?

With Blessings,

~Rebekah Elaine

Five Things I am Doing in Preparation for Marriage and Life

1714I’m not engaged, I’m not in a relationship, I not in the “like-like” stage, I don’t have a crush, I am single. I used to loathe saying that. Every time I said or thought those three words I felt like the ugly step-sister who had nothing going for her. I guess in a sense I was right, and not just in the fact that I have a step-sister. I had an ugly heart that was self-consumed, greedy, jealous, and immature. But I did have something going for me, I had Jesus. In the long run, my relationship with God is the only thing that is going for me. Without Him, I am nothing.

I don’t know if God has marriage in His plan for my life. If it is, then I want to be prepared. If it’s not, then I want to be prepared. And this is what I am doing to prepare myself.

I am growing as a Christian instead of assuming that I will ‘follow’ my husband spiritually. If I am to be a godly woman, I need to be constantly growing and learning about God. I am ever-growing closer to my heavenly father. My husband could never replace that. He could bring me closer to the cross, but he can’t bring me all the way there.

I am spending more time being myself instead of being available. I have spent so much time waiting around for a guy to text me asking to hang out. I tried to dress like his sisters, do things he was interested in, volunteering at events he was attending. (yes, I know. Creepy.) But all I did was ruined that relationship, open my heart to hurt, and desert who God made me in order to impress a guy who was oh-so handsome. I was blinded to anything else. I have learned since then that if God has a man out there for me, then he will love my quirkiness. We can be ourselves together.

I am living as a godly woman today, rather than thinking “I’ll be like that when I’m married.” I’m not going to lie, I used that excuse this morning when I convinced myself that eating 5 mini butterfingers and watching Netflix instead of drinking a healthy fruit smoothie and folding laundry was a more worthwhile and productive use of my time. But I’m not just talking about eating healthy and doing chores, I’m talking about living a godly lifestyle. Instead of constantly saying ‘tomorrow,’ I need to obey today!

I am becoming involved in more service in the church, especially where no one can see me. I was born with an extra-large ego and never did anything for someone else unless I got my due attention. To this day I need help in regards to diminishing my ego.

Matthew 6:2-4 ““Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they maybe praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret.And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

I think it is essential for everyone whether single or married to learn to serve for the glory of God, not for the glory of themselves.

I am learning to communicate clearly.  Yeah, I still have a lot of work to do with this one. I have trouble with listening to others and speaking what I’m thinking in a godly and loving way. Communication is vital in every single area in our lives, especially relationships.

So there you have it! Five things that I am doing today in order to glorify God tomorrow. What are you doing?

Married and Older Women: What are some pieces of advice you would give single girls?

With Blessings,

~Rebekah Elaine

Lifter Of Our Heads

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Photo Credit: TThornquist Photography

Life is tough, and I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you that. Between deaths, money issues, sickness, fights, disruption in the church, and many (many) other things it’s hard to focus on all the beauty that is hiding behind that curtain of hurt. During tough trials I keep an index card with a comforting bible verse written on it in my pocket to refer to throughout the day, I sing hymns, I say thanks for everything I see, I cry, I try to listen to up-beat music, and most of all I lean on God. You want to why? because God is the lifter of my head.

“But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head. I cried aloud to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy hill.” – Psalms 3:3-4

I do not and cannot possibly depend on myself and others in this world for my happiness and comfort because they will always disappoint me. But God is there. He is alive, and listening, and perfect He can never fail me. Isn’t that wonderful?!

I can sleep because I know that He will sustain me (Psalm 3vs5), I can sing praises because He fills my life with joy, I can walk in the darkness because He is my light. He brings true and everlasting joy into my heart when the earth is failing. To know that my treasures are not in this realm is a glorious, glorious thing.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”- Matthew 5:4

The spiritual, emotional, or financial loss resulting from sin should lead to mourning and a longing for God’s forgiveness and healing. I pray that God would bring comfort into your heart and into the lives of your family.

“Salvation belongs to the LORD; your blessings be on your people!”- Psalms 3:8

~Rebekah Elaine

My Bible Study Method

Well hello there! My, it has been awhile since I’ve written hasn’t it? Between school, family, and a stubborn case of writer’s block I am back. I can’t promise any sort of posting schedule or regularity, but it’s about time I start again. Today I am going to share with you the bible study method that I have been using for my personal devotion. I have this method written out on an index card that I keep in my Bible for easy access in the morning and evenings or any extra that I have to study.

Start with picking a chapter of the Bible to focus on over the next seven days. Right now I am going through the book of Psalms, studying one chapter a week. I encourage you to begin and end your devotion with prayer. Ask God to bless your time in the word and to open your heart and mind to absorb His truths. I also suggest turning and adding verses into prayers.

Day 1: Read chapter at least one time through and write down any verses that stand out. Pick a verse to memorize over the next six days.

Day 2: Read Chapter. Record any truths and promises. Meditate on these.

Day 3: Read Chapter. Record commands, instructions, and applications. Meditate on these.

Day 4: Read Chapter. Review notes and meditate on what you discovered.

Day 5: Read Chapter. Listen/Read to a sermon relevant to this chapter.

Day 6: Read Chapter. Meditate on what you have learned. optional: Listen/Read to a sermon relevant to this chapter

Day 7: Read Chapter. Meditate on what you have learned.

Using this method has really worked for me. Reading the same chapter every day gives me the opportunity to be able to learn and see more. Please feel free to adopt this method for yourself and tweak it to make it work for you!

With love and blessings,

~Rebekah Elaine

Saying Goodbye to Emotional Pornography

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I am saying goodbye to the emtional garbage that keeps infiltrating into my life.

The credits are rolling. The book has closed. The song has ended. Girls all around the world are falling in love with hundreds of perfect guys known as “fictional characters” who are witty, talented, good-humored, and let’s not forget: handsome. But women and girls need to rip open that emerald curtain and realize that we are only seeing what the directors and publishers want us to see- perfection. Emotional Porn is created to mess with women’s emotional sides, to distract girls from their present lives, and to make women discontent with real, hardworking, godly men.

What is Emotional Porn? Emotional pornography comes in the form songs, novels, movies, commercials, Facebook statuses, blog posts, YouTube videos, you name it.  It markets primarily to women and their emotional desires, presenting fantasy to a woman as reality, very similar to the way physical pornography presents fantasy to a man as reality.

Emotional Pornography is created to mess with women’s emotional sides. If I have learned anything in my pursuit of acting is that: ACTORS AND ACTRESSES ARE CAST FOR THEIR LOOKS. Yes, yes, their acting capabilities play into whether or not the casting directors think they are fit for the role or not, but you can have a crazy talented actor who knows how to portray the character’s personality perfectly, but if he is doesn’t fit the handsome status quo, it all goes for naught.

Our favorite leading gentlemen in our favorite movies are cast specifically to provoke and mess with our emotional sides. It disgusts me that people I will never meet understand my emotions and desires better than I do- and they are willing to manipulate said feelings to earn their living.

Emotion Pornography distracts girls from their present circumstances. All I have to say about this is that once the idea of a perfect man is planted in a young girl’s mind, it never leaves. I spent most of my life dreams and longing to be married. But these dreams distracted me from where the Lord has me now- which is exactly where I need to be.

Emotional Pornography makes women discontent with real, hardworking, godly men. This is an ugly truth, but it is a necessary one. Those strapping young men you see on T.V. and you read in your novels don’t exist. An author sat down and created that perfect boy who in a mere 300 pages will steal your heart. I’m sorry to tell you that Edward, Peeta, Mr. Darcy, and Tobias do not exist.

But why are so many women and girls holding onto to the hope that one day, Mr. Darcy will come and rescue them from their hum-drum life? It is because those characters fulfil their emotional and physical needs… and their cravings for eye candy. Real men cannot do that for you. Real men are sinners just like us, they fail constantly. They are also not created to fulfil our emotional needs- they are created to serve their God and Father. But there is good news! There is one man who can fulfil every single one of your needs… and that absolutely real and perfect man is Jesus.

I have found myself comparing real, hardworking, godly men to my dream man who is only real in my mind. But those real men have always fallen short! Not handsome enough, not charming enough, gets mad, not sensitive enough, not a high paid lawyer, not a world-renowned chef, not a creative charmer, and list goes on. But then again, they are strong in the Lord, working hard at whatever is at hand, loves his family, respects his parents, and is active in the church. These things are much more important than all the superficial things that make up our Mr. Darcy.

We need to say no to emotional porn. Say no to letting the Devil creep into your heart and stealing you away from everything that God has so perfectly made and given you. We must be aware that these dangers are everywhere- yes, especially Pinterest. I’m not saying that you can’t watch your favorite movies and books, but be aware of what it’s doing to your heart. Emotional porn is a real problem, and it is our job to protect our hearts for our husbands.

2014 Summer Reading List

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Summer is finally here and with Summer comes summer reading lists! Many of the blogs I follow have been sharing their Summer reading list, so I decided that I would join in for the first time!

All of the books on my reading list are books that I have been wanting to read for awhile and that have been collecting dust on my book shelf.

NOTE: The following are in no particular order.


The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

downloadReason For Reading: I found this book at Goodwill for $2 and it looked interesting. It seems like a nice easy read that I would enjoy.


Under Western Skies: Nature and History in the American West by Donald Worster

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Reason For Reading: I also found this book at Goodwill for about $3. I love learning about history, so this book is right up my alley.

You can buy and read about  it Here.


 

Acting: The First Six Lessons: Documents from the American Laboratory Theatre by Richard Boleslavsky

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Reason For Reading: I love acting, and I am always trying to improve my skill, so when a fellow actor at my theater offered this book to me, I was more than excited!

You can buy and read about it Here.


The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

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Reason for Reading: In June 2011, my family was on vacation and stopped into Barnes and Noble, when I bought this book. I have been working on it since that day and I am not even half way through yet. I am determined to finish it!

You can buy and read about it Here.


What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert

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Reason for Reading: When it comes to spreading the Gospel, I am not the might warrior that I would like to be and that God calls me to be. I’m going to read this book in hopes of getting a clearer understanding of what is the Gospel and how to share the good news with others.

You can buy and read about it Here.


Had A Good Time by Robert Olen Butler

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Reason for Reading: My Sissy sent this book to me in a care package saying that she really enjoyed it and thought that I might enjoy it as well. I don’t know what it’s about, but I’m excited to read it!

You can buy and read about it Here.


The Soul Winner by C. H. Spurgeon.

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Reason For Reading: I am going to read this book for two reasons. One, my friend Benjamin so graciously sent me a copy a few months ago and I just haven’t had time to read it. Secondly, I am hoping that this book will help me become more like the godly warrior that God wants me to be.


 

And that’s my list! What are you reading this summer?

With Blessings,

Rebekah T.