Just wanted to share a nice discovery with my faithful readers. Last night I was up into the wee hours of morning, and a cup of tea sounded like just-the-thing for me.

I was going to have "orange and spice" when I thought, "How would it be if I mixed it with a camomile tea bag?"

Well the results were great, and I wanted you to know! Because if you are like me, you know camomile is a good promoter of relaxation and sleep, but is not an amazing flavor at all. It seems to me that camomile was meant to be ONE of the ingredients --- not the main one, or the only one.

This is why I like "Sleepytime Tea" as well. Whoever blended that tea product did a good job in making it taste good while giving all the benefits of various herbs put together. None-the-less, I keep camomile tea around --- and now I know a good way to drink it! You may enjoy it too!

Simply put one Twinings Pure Camomile tea bag together in the same mug with one Biglow Orange and Spice tea bag, a spoon of sugar and hot water. Let it steep, stir it, and WA-LA!

You have a nice tea to sip on and a way to relax.


Does having people over to your home scare you or seem impossible do to because "the house is never right"?  Or you're "not confident in cooking"?  Or you "don't have fancy dishes", etc.?  Here's exactly what you need to lighten up!

There are a few simple key things to hospitality, that make it true, easy, and fun!  

1. Always be ready and keep it simple.  I always keep certain things in handy places (salt, pepper, napkins, etc. etc.) in order to make eating an easy and fun event whether it's just me and my hubby, or a big crowd of people.

2. Keep a clean house daily, but don't strive for perfect.  Everyone feels comfortable in a clean house, but few-to-none feel comfortable in a "perfect" house (where it feels like they can mess something up when they visit you --- no one can truly relax that way).

Three:  When a guest arrives, ALWAYS make it about them and their comfort, NOT about you or your house.  In other words, don't start unnecessarily apologizing because there are dishes in the sink, for example --- instead, give your guest a drink and ask them how THEY are doing.  While it is nice to keep the sink dish-free as much as possible, your guests are not so worried about whether or not you've caught up on your dishes (especially when you are taking genuine interest in talking with them and serving them).

4 (four): When time permits, it's fun to fancy it up a bit and set the table nicely, depending on the number of guests you have.  However, if making everything really nice before guests come is stressing you and your family out, it's really not worth getting fancy.  In that case, definitely return to keeping it simple!

hos·pi·tal·i·ty (noun)
1. Cordial and generous reception of or disposition toward guests.
2. An instance of cordial and generous treatment of guests.

Here is a poem, which was quoted by Elisabeth Elliot, many years ago
(and coincides with yesterday's blog entry) :

Do The Next Thing

"At an old English parsonage down by the sea, 
there came in the twilight a message to me. 
Its quaint Saxon legend deeply engraven 
that, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven. 
And all through the hours the quiet words ring,
like a low inspiration, 'Do the next thing.'

Many a questioning, many a fear, 
many a doubt hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from heaven, 
time, opportunity, guidance are given. 
Fear not tomorrow, child of the King, 
trust that with Jesus, do the next thing.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer, 
do it reliantly, casting all care. 
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand, 
who placed it before thee with earnest command. 
Stayed on omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing, 
leave all resultings, do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener, 
working or suffering be thy demeanor, 
in His dear presence, the rest of His calm, 
the light of His countenance, be thy psalm. 
Do the next thing."

Years ago, when I was an almost grown girl or a younger woman (however one may look at it), I enjoyed listening to Elisabeth Elliot on a short daily broadcast.  This woman is one of the most amazing, sacrificial women I have met in my life!  (I did once meet her when she spoke at a church in my hometown, when I was standing in the book-signing line).  Her stories are book material and movie material, and that is exactly what happened to them!  

Of all the things that she has shared, the simple phrase from her that has stuck the most with me through the years, is her advice to "do the next thing".  I hope you will be as blessed today to hear this, as I have been!  She told us, on the radio, to "do the next thing".  That means, don't get caught up with the worry and concern of the ten or twenty things that are on your list, and causing you to not really get one thing done well.  

So, there are dishes in the sink, laundry to do, a friend is calling, the kids are hungry for breakfast, baby has a dirty diaper, your husband needs you to contact so-in-so sometime this morning for a work-related question, the bathroom towel rod fell of the wall yesterday and still needs to be repaired... come on, you certainly can't do all that at once!  But do the next thing!  Prioritize.  Change the diaper.  Feed the children.  Wash the dishes (or load the dishwasher). Clean the children's faces and send them to their bedrooms to play while you make the phone call for your hubby.  Etc. etc. You get the idea!  Interruptions may come, but that's to be expected --- that might even be the next thing in that moment.  By the end of the day, you just might have a list --- short or long --- that was accomplished.  Now you can thank God for this, and you will be a more contented woman!  A major key here is:  don't be upset about what didn't get done yet.  Be thankful for what did get done.

Now that your computer break is over, do the next thing.  (P.S.  That doesn't mean "check facebook")  :)

Let's face it:  we mom's need a pleasant outlet, some fresh air, and exercise!  What better distraction than to share that with the baby!  Put him in the stroller and enjoy a walk --- after all, it is Spring, almost Summer!  If it's Winter or a rainy day, that's the beauty of the local mall.  If you have other children, the walk is good for them too.

Walking is good for so very many reasons, including trimming the waistline (mama's gotta lose the "baby weight") and simply improving your health.  You just feel better after walking.  You actually might be inspired with more energy and willingness to tackle other projects after your daily walk!  Not to mention, the baby might fall asleep in the stroller, and the little kids may go down better for a nap later on.

Take a break.  Go enjoy yourself!  Your children will enjoy it too.  Point out the squirrels, the birds and their chirping, meet the neighbors as you go!  A daily walk will do everyone some good.   

Recently, I was looking over an old blog of mine.  I came across one pertaining to motherhood that I thought some of you mothers would enjoy.  Before you read it, I want to put out a disclaimer:  I understand that there are some special exceptions to the topic I addressed in my blog that day, but I don't apologize for believing what I believe is best for the majority.  As background, this was about five years ago when I was single and running my own housecleaning business.  Today, I'm a wife and mommy at last!  

 Sunday, June 08, 2008

Yesterday, I was at work and I heard the lady on the television praise Hillary Clinton for trying to be the President.  This women said, basically, that Hillary was an inspiration to other women/girls to know that it's possible that they could be President someday.


"BOO!"  I said, directing my opinion towards TV room where my customers sat.  I continued with something like, "Little girls want to grow up to be wives and mommies!  Don't they know how feminist have ruined things for my generation?!  Has anyone said that yet?"

"No," my customer answered understanding me and sympathizing. 

So, I want to know:  Who wants to do things God's way?  Any girls out there want to be a good wife and have a good marriage?  The Bible will give us instruction as to how... plus the Truth that God put in our hearts.  It's the Truth that we long to care for our families, be an emotional support to a husband, be a mom, be a good friend.  We need to be women!  Let's not try to be men.  And the men will enjoy us much better this way, plus we won't give them an identity crisis.  Let them do their job and we will do ours.  It fits.  It's good.  It's fun.  I can hardly wait! 

But Feminists caused us to shoot ourselves in the foot.  Now many expect women to leave their children daily so that they can work, and many think that two parents have to work to pay the bills (probably because they got used to it---it's not worth that extra money (whether great or small) to abandon the children everyday, letting someone else raise them).  Besides, I'm sure that all this unnecessary pressure and guilt for leaving the children each day is unhealthy.  And does the wife have any energy or cheerfulness to give to her husband at the end of the day?  I'm sure this lifestyle isn't healthy for marriages either. 

So, no-thank-you, lady on the TV.  Little girls want to grow up to be wives and mommies, most often---not to be Presidents. 

The other day, my husband came home from a meeting with someone.  The person he met up with needed marriage counselling --- something my husband is willing to do to be helpful, but finds it the toughest kind of work to do.  He came in looking very solemn and he said, "If I haven't ever told you how much I appreciate you... I don't know where I would be without you and [our son] in my life."  It led to a sweet time of us both expressing our love and appreciation for each other.  I don't want my readers to misunderstand --- like you, we aren't lovey-dovey everyday --- we have tough days too.  But this moment, along with other sweet moments was well-worth the mention and treasuring, as we reflected on God's gift to us of each other.  In fact, God gifted us with something good, in spite of ourselves!  I dare say, I don't deserve to have the wonderful man that I have, but God is good.


You may be wondering what this has to do with my blog on motherhood.  It's simple.  Love your husband.  Love him for his sake, for your sake, for God's sake (no, really) and for your children's sake.  Not only is it good for you and your hubby to choose to love each day and to forgive each other for each other's sake, but it's good for your children to have a mom and dad that love one another.  This world is so full of brokenness, let's not add to the mess.  

When I drink enough water or don't drink enough water, it really has a profound result on me.  Today, I was feeling the effects of not drinking enough in the last 24 hours, and I thought it would be good to share that reminder with you.  Meanwhile, I'm trying to take water-drinking very seriously today, so that I will get enough in me (I'm still a nursing mom).

To all you moms out there:  keep drinking water!  I cannot stress the point enough.  Perhaps one day I'll even do a nice article on the subject, beyond what I have on my website so far.  Yep--it's that important!  If you are pregnant, you need to drink alot of water.  If you are nursing, it's the same deal: drink alot of water (and be happy)!

Winter is still with us making it hard to want to go outside and walk, but this mama knows she needs alittle help with the mid-section!  Even if I didn't have a baby just last year, I'm a firm believer (haha---firm? no pun intended) in getting moving.  Even when I was pregnant, I was grateful for all the steps in my house, forcing me to get the needed exercise and muscular strength without even having a workout plan.  But that's not always enough.  I, for one, cannot afford a gym membership (it's complicated to plan going there when you have a baby anyway).  What about gym equipment in the house?  Naw, not much room for that.  What about a mall?  YES!  Especially inviting a friend to join me!  Especially sipping on coffee and pushing the baby stroller as we go!  This is a great way to also help a friend get around to exercise too!  Yep... look out mall:  Here we come!!!