Faithful Friday: 6 Tips for Quiet Time

31 May 2013

If you follow me via social media you know how important I think quiet time is in our Christian walk. When I say quiet time I mean devoid of all distraction and sitting at the feet of God. Some times doing that can seem really hard and in the beginning it will be a challenge but I promise you it gets better. Here are some things that helped me to maximize my study time and to have consistent quiet time with God.

Tips for Quiet Time

1. Get A Bible: There are so many wonderful bible apps out there my favorite is the YouVersion app, however it is no substitute for a physical bible that you can thumb through. Go out and purchase a bible that would be easy for you to understand. The King James Version of the bible is wonderful but it can be very intimidating with the Thees, Thous, and Shalts. I recommend translations that are easier to read and understand like the New Living Translation (NLT), or the New International Version (NIV) study bibles. These bibles are broken down in thought for thought translations they are less formal then the King James Version bible but still very functional.

2. Learn Your Bible: Most of the time when we read books we start at the very beginning because we know it's better to read in chronological order so we don't miss critical parts of the story. Unfortunately that's not the case with the bible. The books are not arranged in a Chronological order, they are instead arranged by the purpose.

The Old Testament Contains all the books written before Jesus' birth.
  • Genesis - Esther, History.
  • Job - Songs of Solomon, Poetry and Wisdom.
  • Isaiah - Malachi, Prophecy.

The New Testament Contains all the books written after Jesus' death.
  • Matthew - Acts, History.
    • Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Gospel (Chronicling the birth, life, death and ressurection of Jesus). 
  • Roman - Jude, Letters.
    • Written to churches or individuals to pastor them from a far (13 of those books were written by Paul and are called Pauline Letters).
  • Revelations, Prophecy.
There is also a Concordance (index) in the bible to help you search different topics.  So as you can see knowing how the bible is set up is critical to how you will use it to study. 

3. Invest: Like anything else quiet time takes making an investment, but it will be worth it. I recommend finding a devotional plan to follow when getting started - I loved reading Jesus Calling when I was starting out. I have also discovered that the YouVersion app has reading plans as well and they are totally free - search for something you want to learn more about ie. marriage, patience, or love. Earlier I talked about getting a bible, the more in depth ones will cost more but they are so worth it. While you are at it get some good pens for writing in your bible (yes you can write in your bible, haha!). I recommend the Sakura Pigma Micron pens, they won't smudge and the tips are small enough to allow you to write in bibles with small margins. Get in there don't be afraid to turn those pages, and to take notes. Personalize your bible - add tabs, a pretty cover, or a cute bookmark, make it your own.

4. Make Time: Now that you have your bible, a journal and pens to write with you have to make time. Most people struggle with finding the perfect time of day to have quiet time, some people struggle with making time all together. My motto however is get it in where ever you can. God will honor you for the sacrifice of any time you make and will build on it to help you. For me the hardest part about getting quiet time in was finding the perfect time of day. I have tried having quiet time at night, midday, and in the morning. I am usually too sleepy at night and too busy midday, so the morning time was just right. I was clear headed and the day's stresses hadn't crept in yet. The morning time will not work for everyone, find a time that works for you. Just like everyone has a different relationship with God your quiet time will be different too.

5. Set the Mood:  It's kind of like setting the ambiance for a romantic dinner or a party - you cook a meal, light some candles, spruce yourself up and play music to get the fun started. I didn't just start out loving quiet time but setting the mood sure helps make it easier and helps me to desire time with God. For me setting the mood is beginning my day with prayer, playing some music as I spruce myself up for God, writing in my journal to God, and my meal is reading the word - if I am really a hungry bear I'll have breakfast then too. I know playing music during quiet time seems crazy but I assure you it helps, I do turn my music off when reading the word and I put phone on airplane mode to avoid distractions. Also don't set limits on your quiet time - sing, dance, and take God out on dates. If something comes up during your scheduled quiet time take it out on the road. I've had quiet time in airplanes, the back seat of a car, Starbucks, Denny's, and on the subway. When you commit to letting nothing stand in the way, nothing will.

6. Apply It: Having quiet time should be nothing like when you study for a test, where you absorb as much information as you can to pass and then purge it from memory after the test. Instead when studying seek quality over quantity its not about how much you can read but more so what you can understand and how much better you can get to know God. Once you have read a scripture and taken notes, mediate on what you have learned. Take what you have learned from reading and try to remain conscious of it all day. Look for ways to apply it to your day, and to you life.  Reading the word is great but following it is all the more sweeter. Even the devil knows God's word, but he sure isn't following it. James 1:22 (NLT) says But don't just listen to God's word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. So apply what you have learned and share it with others.

I am absolutely no authority on how you should spend your quiet time, but I hope these tips help you to find your own groove and get you on the way to spending more time with God.

My Favorites for Quiet Time:

Quiet time at Starbucks with my Mommy Bear.

Thankful Thursday: ABC's of Thankfulness!!

30 May 2013

We all have much to be grateful for and sometimes when you can't think of anything making a list really does help. I am linking up with Marquis from Simply Clarke for ABC's of thankfulness. 


I am thankful for :

A - airplanes. I am not sure how I could have survived living 1300 miles away from my family without one.

B - babies. There are so many lives blooming all around, but I am proudest at being a Godmother to a baby girl this year.

C - cooking. I am so glad to just have some skills in the kitchen to make a meal and I really love cooking for my husband and feeling all wife like. 

D - dates. I can't say how important dating is in all relationships. I date everyone now my mom, friends and of course my hubby.

E - eggs. My own not the ones from chickens. When you are dealing with infertility you have to be grateful for the small things...eggs are one of them - and I am glad I have some.

F - food. I love to eat lets face it. I said I love cooking and I don't know anyone who likes to cook but doesn't like to eat. There are so many people who are starving all around so when I cook I make sure not to waste a thing.

G - GOD. Seriously. He just continues to get me through so much, and he loves me still when I am unpleasant. haha!

H - home. I am blessed enough to call two places home, and I have so much peace even in this little apartment.

I - iPhone. I have owned one since 2007, and I am never going back. This phone has simplified my life.

J - jokes. I love a good joke to brighten up my day.

K - kisses. Nothing like remembering to kiss the people you love. 

L - languages. Italian and Hindi are just so beautiful to me.

M - marriage. I just love it and I love who I am married to.

N - notes. Writing and finding notes is the sweetest thing ever.

O - olive trees. The Symbolism and the produce. 

P - photography. I am a Photographer, nuff said!

Q - quiet time. It's my most favorite part of the day.

R - Rest. Not sleeping per say but just taking a break from everything.

S - stories. I love reliving peoples moments.

T - texts. I seriously despise talking on the phone. So if you have my number text me.

U - umbrellas. It's been a rainy spring in the city.

V - vents. For both heat and air. Summer is coming.

W - winter. It's my favorite season of all.

X - xenial. Parties and get togethers are my thing. I love having people over.

Y - yoga. That's the only way I will work out.

Z - zippers. Having them makes everything easier.

So what are you thankful for? Join the link up here and let me know if you do in the comments below.

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"A lover of country music (love it like a religion), an elementary school teacher, a semi-math nerd, and a BIG fan of: summer, jeans, and tans." 
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Whew Enchiladas!!

29 May 2013

Hey my loves! I've got more food for you! The other day I had this intense craving for Mexican food. I really wanted to have Chipotle but I decided that there had to be something I could make at home to satisfy me. So I ventured into my cabinets to see exactly what I  had and surprisingly I had all the ingredients except tortillas to make enchiladas. I quickly hopped over to the store to get the tortillas. The prep time for this was rather easy as I had chopped veggies already in the fridge. These babies came out perfect and were so tasty and the best news? They are completely vegan.

VEGAN Enchiladas

Here's What You'll Need:
Enchilada Sauce Ingredients
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 dry oregano
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 tbsp of oil
1/2 tsp garlic
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup Onions 
1/2 cup Green Pepper
32 oz cooked black beans mashed
3 Cups Shredded Daiya Cheese
Sauce (Canned or from above)
8 tortillas

Here's What You'll Do:

For the Sauce:
Heat the oil in sauce pan over medium high heat. Add flour and stir for one minute. Once mixture is combined stir in the remaining ingredients save for the vegetable broth.

Add all of vegetable broth to mixture. Stir until mixture has a creamy consistency. Reduce heat and allow the sauce to thicken for 10 minutes.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a sauce pan on medium high heat. Stir in garlic and cook until it begins to brown. Add onions, tomatoes and green peppers, saute' until onions are translucent. 

Mix the cooked vegetables with your black beans. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Make an assembly line of your ingredients to fill your enchiladas. Begin filling your tortillas - first with sauce, vegetables, and then cheese. 

Roll your tortillas closed and place them in 9x12 buttered baking dish or similar. Do this until you have used all 8 tortillas.

Once all tortillas are filled and in the pan pour remaining sauce over them and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. After baking for 20 minutes sprinkle enchiladas with more cheese and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until tortillas have browned edges.

Plate. Eat. Enjoy

You can serve your enchiladas with this Spanish Rice pictured above. Hope you love it, I know I sure did!

Do you like Mexican food? What's your favorite dish? Let me know in the comments below.

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"A lover of country music (love it like a religion), an elementary school teacher, a semi-math nerd, and a BIG fan of: summer, jeans, and tans." 
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House Wife Life: Cleaning

25 May 2013

Lately I have been in sort of a cleaning slump. When you are a neat freak not cleaning seriously goes against your nature. I have felt so overwhelmed with finding time to blog, edit photos, and be a wife - so unfortunately chores namely cooking and cleaning have fallen to the wayside. I had been on Pinterest looking for a daily cleaning list then blogger I follow posted a spring cleaning list a few weeks ago. I realized that it was exactly what I needed - a to do list for everyday cleaning (if you are said blogger let me know so I can give you a shout out because my brain is failing me now). 

I went over a slew of cleaning list, I even made a board with various ideas to compile my own list. So I have finally completed the list and I hope this will give me the boost I needed to get my cleaning back on track. You can check my list out below.

If you would like to use this template as well save and print the blank one below. You can make your own cleaning schedule or make adjustments to this one via PicMonkey.

As you can see on my list I added a day specifically for rest. I mean I will do the bare minimal cleaning but I believe scheduled rest is just as important as scheduling work. Do you use cleaning list? Is there something you think my list is missing? If so let me know in the comments below.

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"A lover of country music (love it like a religion), an elementary school teacher, a semi-math nerd, and a BIG fan of: summer, jeans, and tans." 
Read more from Sharlee's blog:

What a Pinteresting Week!

23 May 2013

On Monday Mr.FixIt and I ventured to the store with a huge grocery list in tow. I had tons of recipes that I have been itching to try out and they have all been from Pinterest of course.

Slowly over the next few weeks I will share the tweaked recipes in detail. I only followed the recipe for the marmalade exactly as I found it. Everything else got tweaked to suit my vegan taste buds. 

First I made this delicious Pasta Salad. This was actually from a compilation of several pasta salad recipes on and off Pinterest, so I do not have an exact link. I opted for bow-tie pasta with less or more of various things the recipes called for.

Next I made this awesome throat soothing Marmalade. Many people attested to how it helped with their allergies as well if they used local raw honey to make it (please read her entire blog post if you suffer with allergies there was good info there). I made one jar with raw honey and one with vegan honey for myself so I will see how powerful it will be.

I also made this awesome spicy Haitian Coleslaw called Pikliz. I am not Haitian but I really enjoy Haitian food because it's so flavorful. This mix is pickled cabbage, onions, scotch bonnet peppers and carrots, it'll take several days before its completely ready to eat, the older the better.

Afterwards I made a weeks worth of Salad Jars. Seems like I could have whipped this up when I first pinned it but I absolutely despise salad, so I dragged my feet with this one a bit. I am trying to force more raw veggies in my diet so I figured between this and smoothies I would have my greens covered. I was not as creative as some salad jars I have seen but I will be ready for these jars next week. I followed this nifty little guide to best of my abilities.
And here is what I came up with based on those steps.

I had an awesome time finally doing some of the things I had pinned. What fun is it really when it's just sitting there in cyber space. Have you completed any task from Pinterest? If not I challenge you to do at least one project this week I bet you will feel so great when you do. Let me know which of your pins you are excited to tackle in the comments below.

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"A lover of country music (love it like a religion), an elementary school teacher, a semi-math nerd, and a BIG fan of: summer, jeans, and tans." 
Read more from Sharlee's blog:

Pop Goes the Weasel!!

22 May 2013

I totally had a hard time spelling weasel just now. I mean honestly when was the last time that you spelled out the word weasel? <---That still looks funny but I am assuming its correct because there is not red squiggly line below it. Anyhow on to what this post is really about and if you haven't guessed it already its about POPCORN! Sorry no weasel here!

Yes I absolutely love eating popcorn and while there are tons of organic versions of popcorn they are just generic and have no pizzazz. I am all about flavorful popcorn and my two favorite flavors for popcorn is lime/lemon, salt, and faux butter. 

So as I was strolling the isles at Whole Foods I came across this awesome popcorn by Quinn. 

This popcorn comes in a compost friendly bag however I believe it comes with one too many little packets therefore still contributing to the landfill. As you can see below this is a 3 step popcorn. 

First you have to pop, oil, and then salt.

This is what my popcorn looked like after I completed all three steps. 

The flavor is was the perfect lemon and salt combination and only about 2-3% of the bag was left un-popped - I would call that a win. However the price point was a little high for it not being organic it cost 5 bucks for a box which gives two servings of popcorn. For the taste I would totally buy it again - for the price, servings, non-organic factor, and all the little packets I would say that it is not worth it.

Have you ever had Quinn Popcorn before? Do you like popcorn, if so what's your favorite popcorn brand?

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"A lover of country music (love it like a religion), an elementary school teacher, a semi-math nerd, and a BIG fan of: summer, jeans, and tans." 
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Why Did I Get Married?

19 May 2013

I have never been a fan of Facebook for the simple fact that I think they make way to many changes that affect my online privacy (sounds crazy since here I am blogging about my life but I get to chose what I share here). I also steer clear of Facebook because there always seems to be some type of drama there. Now I know you are thinking well there is drama everywhere and while I agree Facebook is notorious for it's fights, cheating scandals, divorces, suicide notes and so on. However today in one of my rare Facebook appearances I saw a post titled "Getting Married Young: Is it a Good idea?

Now while I felt compelled to chime in I also read more than half of the comments. There were only a few people who actually defended young people getting married.

The ones that argued against getting married young had these points: 

You don't know yourself.

You haven't experienced life.

You don't know what you want.

You are immature.

You are not ready for that responsibility.

You are not educated.

You have no financial stability.

You should experience the world.

I also saw a few comments that did not agree or disagree with getting married young. They replied:

Some people can mature with their spouses.

Some people are not ready at 30 or 40, it depends on the people.

You care to know my take on it? I think marriage is not about age but more so about why you are getting married. Are you getting married for sex, for money, for companionship, because your clock is ticking, because you are pregnant or because got someone pregnant? Or are you marrying because you admire God's creation of marriage, you have fallen in love, and you are committed to living the rest of your life with the person you love God's way? 

It really annoys me to see people offer their opinions on marriage when they have no idea what it's about. I do not believe you have to be married to understand God's design for marriage - you can simply read God's word. It is evident that many of the people responding to this question were basing their opinions on the world's view of marriage not on God's design for marriage. Most of the comments above had the word "You" in common showing that people believe that marriage is all about them, when it's not. People are so keen on running from responsibility and excusing the ones that do run from it that they use age as the ultimate excuse. Your late teens and early twenties are not a pass for reckless behavior, irresponsibility and selfishness. And while I agree that during those years you learn the most about yourself - learning who you are in Christ is more important and essential to your marriage at any age. 

I think most people are looking in on young marriage with the wrong eyes. I know a lot of marriages that have survived 40+ years and they were married young. I also know many people now who are coming up on 10 years of marriage and they were married young....I can count my marriage in that number. What do these people have that helps their marriage work? They have the resolve to repair their marriage rather than to replace their marriage. With that in mind I do not think anyone should get married before understanding God's design for marriage and before committing to allowing him to be at the center of it whether you are 18 or 45. Age, finances, and education have nothing to do with your calling to be married. Look at some of the celebrity couples that seemingly have it all -  and their marriages still fail. I do believe that having a handle on your finances does help your marriage but you do not need to be rich or highly educated to have a successful marriage.

I also wonder why people feel like you have to experience so much of life before you get married - having that view point makes marriage equivalent to death. They make it seems as if you stop living when you get married and that can't be further from the truth. There are so many things that you are only supposed to experience when you are married like sex, babies, and cohabitation - but because people are so keen on "experiencing life" they change the dynamic of their future and the futures of their partner and potentially a child. I have had an array of experiences with my husband that I could never have imagined experiencing with anyone else, and while from the outside looking in marriage may look mundane it is a constantly evolving partnership. Just like any other part of life it has it highs and lows. Sometimes people view marriage as a trap but it gives the greatest freedom because outside of God you are able to live and share your life with someone while being completely yourself.

So with that said I am not pro young or old marriage. I am pro getting married when you are called. I am pro getting married when you committed to being married God's way. I am pro getting married for the right reasons. I am pro getting married when you and your potential spouse have the same morals and values and are ready to pursue life together, forever. 

How old were you when you got married? What's your view on getting married do you believe that you need to be a certain age to have a healthy marriage? Let me know in the comments below.

PSA & Apology: To my bloggy pals please check your blog to see if word verification is on for comments. I always get so annoyed when I want to leave a comment and then I see I have to do a captcha. It's really hard to do on mobile devices too and just super annoying. So I came to my blog just to make sure mine was off and low and behold it was on again. I suppose it came back on when I redid my blog design so my apologies to all of you who wanted to leave comment but didn't because of the word verification. Feel free to leave your "captcha" free thoughts below.

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"A lover of country music (love it like a religion), an elementary school teacher, a semi-math nerd, and a BIG fan of: summer, jeans, and tans." 
Read more from Sharlee's blog:
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