Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Expecting a Visitor!

I.  Am.  EXCITED!  My mom is on her way to my house today for a week-long visit, and I can hardly wait!  With 400 miles in between us, we don't get to see my parents as often as we would like to; so when we do get time together like this, it's all the more special.

Mom and I have been looking forward to this week for over a month and have been talking about all the things we want to do during it, so we started joking that we needed to make an agenda.  Well, the list-maker that I am, I decided to do just that.  I sent Mom an email last week with my proposed plan and entitled it, "If the Lord Wills...".  :-)  Some of the things on our schedule include going out to lunch for my birthday, going to the Mother's of Multiples Garage Sale, going to the mall, attending my church's Women's Retreat, and, of course, spending lots of time with the kids.

And, speaking of the kids, I'm clearly not the only one excited about my mom's pending visit.  Abel called Grandma Tammy last night to ask her what time she would get here today.  When she told him it would be around supper time, he said, "How about closer to breakfast time?"

I'm with him, Mom.... Are you here yet?! ;-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Right Where I Belong

During school today, I gave Abel several word cards--dad, cat, can, lad, rat, pot, sis, pan, mom--and asked him to divide them into like categories.  Providing a little hint, I began by asking, "Which words are animals?"  Abel easily located 'cat' and 'rat' and separated them into a pile.  Moving on to the second category, I asked, "Which words belong in the kitchen?"  Abel quickly glanced over the cards and then held one up, saying, "'Mom' belongs in the kitchen...."

It wasn't quite the answer I was expecting (and probably not an answer that our feminist society would appreciate...); but, it was a good answer nonetheless.  After all, I do spend a large majority of each day in the kitchen--right where I belong, apparently.... ;-)

It's true, though, isn't it (in most cases, anyway), that the kitchen is Mom's territory?  When Travis and I were house hunting in early 2007, we laid out some must-haves for our new house; and, right at the top of my list was a kitchen with lots of cupboards, plenty of counter space, and good lighting.  The kitchen would be my primary work space as well as what we deemed the "hub of the household"; so, having the right kitchen was imperative.

And, I must say, the kitchen is what sold me on the house we bought.  I loved the kitchen.  I still do love my kitchen.  On occasion, while working in my kitchen, joy and thankfulness will suddenly overflow from my heart and I will randomly say to my husband, "Honey, I love my kitchen."  I do.  And, I enjoy caring for it.  Scrubbing the floors, polishing the stove top... it truly gives me great joy to maintain the kitchen which belongs to me to which I belong.

Maybe that's why I spend so much time there.  Or, is it because I have four hungry little mouths to feed?... Whatever the reason, I am thankful.  No matter how many times a day I have to sweep the floor, no matter how many fingerprints I have to scrub off the refrigerator door, I will enjoy being in my kitchen.  After all, it's the hub of our household, and it's right where I belong.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Doing It Without Debt!

Last Friday, Travis and I made our first significant purchase since becoming debt-free; and, boy, did it feel good to do it without "fleasing" (Dave term) or financing!

A couple years ago, Travis and I looked into getting both a water conditioning system and a drinking water system installed in our home; and, as much as we wanted the goods, our quest for debt-freedom stopped us from making the purchase at the time.

Once we were debt-free and able to make the purchase in cash, though, there was nothing stopping us!  We re-researched companies last week, settled on Culligan, and on Friday became the outright owners of both a water softener and a reverse osmosis drinking system!  No talk of lease terms or interest rates or down payments--just the signing of a check and the shaking of a hand!

I tell you, as much I'm enjoying my new water, I'm enjoying the fact that we made a pretty significant purchase WITHOUT DEBT(!) just as much.  And, I think Dave would agree that that makes good water taste and feel even better!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Toy Storage

Toys. They are a never ending problem around here. Well, not the toys themselves, but the organization and storage of them. Every toy has a place, but I've never been quite satisfied with the look of those places. In my eyes, the kids' bedrooms and the basement family area, though they be picked up and tidy, just never really look good.

I'm itching for a solution. Just ask my husband. He knows. :-)

Part of the problem must undoubtedly be that we have never spent any money on toy storage solutions barring two inexpensive wicker baskets and a used cabinet, all of which I purchased to provide hidden toy storage for our living room (the look of which I am well pleased with, mind you :-)). For the bedrooms and the basement family room, however, we have basically relied on two plastic dressers which Travis had in his college apartment, a couple empty ice cream pails, and a few empty Velveeta boxes to adequately house the kids' toys. Admittedly, these frugal solutions worked well for a time; but now that the kids are growing and beginning to accumulate toy collections which will be kept and loved for years to come, I feel that the purchase of some practical, flexible, presentable toy storage solutions is moving beyond justified and verging on necessary.

Okay, maybe "necessary" is a little too strong a word... BUT!... In my defense, I am the manager of this household and I do hold a certain responsibility and desire to make my house be welcoming, accommodating, and eye-pleasing; and the lack of appropriate places to keep various toys is becoming an obstacle for this already decorating- and organizing-impaired woman. :-)


I've been doing a little a lot of online shopping (the kind where you look but you don't spend... ahem... yet...); and I've come up with some reasonably priced ideas that I think might just work! Ah! Just the thought of having every toy in a place that makes sense and looks good makes me smile!

Now, onto the next obstacle--convincing my husband to take me to IKEA.... ;-)

Friday, March 4, 2011


This has been one of those weeks for me where the days just slip by in busyness that can't even be accounted for.  At the end of each day, I felt like I still needed an extra five hours, and I wasn't even sure why I had run out of time.

As I thought about the constant race against the clock that this earthly life seems to be, I began pondering what it will be like in heaven when we are no longer constrained by limited time.  Time will still pass, but as Randy Alcorn says in his book Heaven, "[its] passing will no longer threaten us" (pg. 269) because "[it] won't be a diminishing resource about to end" (pg. 269).  "When the Curse is lifted... time will never work against us.  We won't run out of it.  Time will bring gain, not loss" (pg. 268-269).  How incredible is the thought of time working with us, giving to us instead of taking from us?!  I, for one, can hardly wait for that!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blog Party: Meet Me!

Lynnette at Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground is hosting a blog party that begins today and goes through March 8th, and I'm linking up!  If you would like to get in on meeting some other bloggers and even be entered in a drawing for some fabulous prizes, click on the button below to see how!


Welcome to Eternal Outlook!  I'm Angela, and this is my blog.  I love to write, I love to learn, and I love to share; and, I strive to do it all in the light of eternity.  You can learn more about me and about this blog by clicking on the About Me link near the top of this page, by perusing the archives, and by checking out the answers to Lynnette's party questions which follow!

How would people describe your personality (if they could use only ONE word)?

What celebrity/celebrities would create in you a "star-struck" feeling if you saw them in real life?
Michael Jackson would have.  And, I think Lynnette would, too, because she is well-known in Blogland while still being real and approachable. :-)

Who is your favorite blogger?  Why?
Of course, I love Lynnette.  I don't know her in real life, but her blog tells me that she is loving, sincere, wise, and fun.  But, how can I pick just one favorite blogger?  I also love September--another sweet, smart, caring woman whom I would love to know personally--and Amber--my best friend in real life.

What is your comfort food/drink?
I suppose that would be chocolate, although I try not to eat much of it these days.

Be brave--tell us something very weird and random about yourself.
I wash and reuse Ziploc baggies.

Movies:  Action, Drama, Romantic Comedy, Documentary, Comedy?  What are your favorite genres?
I like Dramas, especially those that are based on some historical truth or event.

Books:  Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance, Biographies, True Stories, Self-help, Devotional/Study?  What are your favorite types of reading material?
I enjoy Bible study books, certain non-fiction books (if the topic is right), and some Christian fiction (specifically, Francine Rivers!).  Several of my favorite books are listed under the My Bookshelf tab near the top of this page.

Music:  Funk, Rock, Country, Jazz, Classical, Film Score, Blues, Classic Rock, Crooner, Alternative, Heavy Metal, Techno?  What are your favorite types?
I mostly listen to Christian music for the sake of lyrical content; but I do enjoy the sound of pop, rock, and some country.  Oh, and I recently discovered that I love the sound of African music!  (Check out this song by the Soweto Gospel Choir.  I love the harmonies, the energy, and the way it builds!)

If you inherited a million dollars, what is the first thing you would do with your money?
After taking at least ten percent off the top for a tithe, I am certain that my husband would agree that we would immediately pay off the remainder of our mortgage!  Then, we would be completely debt-free!

Name one weakness of yours.
I tend to get lost in my own thoughts--especially when I am writing--and not hear others who are speaking to me.  I am aware of this and have been working on it, because I know it hurts those whom I love the most.

If you could live anywhere at all (and take all your loved ones with you), where would you go?
I would love to live where the temperatures are in the 80s all year round.

Do you have a strange talent?
I suppose my strange talent is that I can write with both hands.  When I was in college, I slowly and mysteriously began losing the ability to write right-handed (I was eventually diagnosed with a focal point dystonia of the forearm, more commonly known as "Writer's Cramp."); and, out of necessity, I taught myself to write left-handed.  I am thankful to say that the effects of my dystonia have now greatly subsided to the point that I am able to once again write with my right hand.

What is something you consider yourself to be good at?
I consider myself to be a good writer.

What is one of your favorite things to catch a whiff of?
My husband. :-)

If money wasn't a factor, what stores would you shop in?
Honestly, I'm not really aware of the stores that are outside my current price range since they aren't an option; but there are a few specific items that I would buy right now if money were no object. :-)
  • a right-hand ring
  • fashion jewelry from Lia Sophia
  • a gym-quality treadmill

What is your greatest accomplishment?
Well, I recently potty trained my 20 1/2-month old twins in a total of eight days, and I think that's pretty amazing!  Oh, and... my husband and I just became debt-free (besides our mortgage) at the young age of 27!

What are your favorite animals?
I love horses.  I grew up with them; and, as much as I enjoyed riding, I even more enjoyed just being with them.  I used to think that I would one day try to work part-time in a stable.  I also thought I was going to go to Law school.... :-)

What movie or book character can you most relate to?
I don't know that I necessarily relate to her, but my all time favorite movie character is probably Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail.

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