Dark Days Can Be A Blessing

9 Apr

Have you ever been in the midst of something that you wanted to overcome so badly? Whether its a job situation, a financial strain, a less than ideal living circumstance, or something else less than “ideal”. You just begin to exist in your life praying that you will overcome your situation sooner rather than later.

Then, the day comes, something happens, God answers your prayers, the tides change, and the end of your trial has been determined and a new journey is beginning. Adios old job, hello better finances. Goodbye gray days, thank God for sunny skies ahead.

Then, days, weeks, months, maybe even years, pass and you realize those long ago gray days weren’t actually as awful as they seemed when you were in the midst of them. They were really just tests and trials that you needed to overcome to be the you God wanted you to be, He was molding you into the person He designed. You begin to thank God for your trial, for the dark days that you thought would never cease. And you realize in the end, your thankful for the dark times, thankful for how it changed you because even in the dark days, God was leading you…

Couponing- Consumer Contact

2 Jun

Do you get all of your coupons out of the Sunday paper? If so, you are missing out on some much better, higher-value, coupons! Although it is much more time consuming, contacting by email the brands that you use on a regular basis, is a great way to add to your coupon inventory. I began doing this about six months ago and it has really paid off. I almost always have two or more coupon envelopes in my mail each day. Its like getting little presents each day of the week! :-)

A good way to start is to go through your house (kitchen cabinets, bathroom, etc) and write down all the products that you use often. Then, just sit down at your computer and Google each brand and click on the “Contact Us” link and complete all of the info and then under comments, ask for coupons. It is also a great idea to compliment them on their product… praise always makes people go over and beyond to please others!

Here is an example of what my “Comments” section looks like for most every company I email… Keep in mind though, I also personalize it more for companies I really like:

My family and I love your product and use it often. I was wandering if you offer coupons by mail to your consumers? If so, I would greatly appreciate anything you have to offer. Thank you so much for such a great product!

This is just a simple and quick email that gets your point across. They will usually send you an email after a few minutes to let you know that they are reviewing your email and will get back to you within a few days. Usually after this initial email though you will not receive another email…. but a letter in your mailbox with anywhere from one to five coupons. How easy is that?

Now, like I said earlier, doing this IS time consuming… but VERY worth it (if your an avid couponer, that is)!

It is also a good idea to keep a Word document with the date you contacted the brand and the brand name. That way next time you decide to do this, all you have to do is open up your Word document, instead of going back through your house to make another list. I also go back, once I have received coupons, and list the number and amount of the coupons that I have received…. but that is not necessary… that’s just me. Also, keep in mind, you can email companies once every six months to ask for coupons….

To make life a little easier for you, below I have 25 of the brands that I have contacted (this is no where near the list of emails that I have sent out asking for coupons though)… I hope this helps you!!

  1. Angel Soft
  2. Kings Hawaiian
  3. Lea and Perrins
  4. Land O Lakes
  5. Jif
  6. All Laundry
  7. Apple and Eve
  8. Crisco
  9. Folgers
  10. Welch’s
  11. Kimberly Clarke
  12. Dunkin Donuts Coffee
  13. Del Monte
  14. Famous Amos
  15. Mrs. Butterworth’s
  16. Lenders
  17. Nissin Fooods
  18. Rayovac
  19. Starkist
  20. Bumble Bee
  21. Ragu
  22. Daisy
  23. Dukes
  24. Chicken of the Sea
  25. Florida’s Natural

Happy Couponing!!

 

Hope in the Midst of Devastation

27 May

Imagine playing with your children or talking on the phone and looking up to see a monster tornado barrelling down your way… that is how a good day turned sour for many people on April 27th, in Dekalb county, Alabama… and in many other areas since.
Devastation is still thick in the little town in Alabama that sits in between Fort Payne and Henager. In a county that lost 33 lives,  10 of which were in a town with no name, just known as “county”, a month of viewing horrific destruction is still wandering what is next?
When will the little corner country store, vegetable stand, churches and numerous homes be occupied again? With piles of debris, leafless trees, and power lines laying on the ground and unimaginable sights every where you look, small glimmers of hope bring back life in a tiny country town that yearns for the days of the past.
Although life will never return to those known prior to April 27th, bright smiles after a store owner answers yes to a question about rebuilding, tells you that life in this small town, will go on. Buildings will go back up, trees will be replanted, gas station pumps will be remounted… and life will go on!
Hope from people that walked away from demolished buildings that had crumbled on them. Hope from people that watched their neighbors emerge lifeless. Hope from people that buried a mother with her 6 year old daughter. They have hope…
This hope though needs assistance. Assistance in rebuilding, replanting and restablishing the life they loved prior to the day an E4 tornado devastated their lives.
Now…. what can we band together and do to assist in ensuring this hope becomes a reality?

Starting Couponing

24 May

I am not the best, and deffenently not the most extreme, but I’m decent at it and often get asked questions regarding couponing. Below are just a few questions that I have answered to help anyone just beginning to coupon, or those who are just wandering. I hope they help…

1. What local grocery stores double coupons?
Bi-Lo, Kroger, Publix, and Food Lion.

2. How do you get all your coupons?
I get the Sunday paper and usually ask for additional coupon inserts from people that I know get the paper but may not use their coupons. I also email companies of the products that I use often every 6 months. This is where I usually get most of my higher value coupons. It is time consuming but usually worthwhile.

3. What do you do with all the coupons you do not use?
I clip all of the coupons in the Sunday paper, whether I plan on using them or not. If I know my family will not use it then I will ask my friends what products they use and mail them to them or ask some of the coupon blogs I follow if anyone on there sites are interested in extra coupons.

4. How do you store your coupons?
I have tried pretty much every method out there to store my coupons. So far, the only one that I like is the binder method. Which consists of a three ring binder that I have put dividers in and labeled. I store my clipped coupons in baseball card inserts so that I can view and remove  them easily. I really love my binder and have been known to go a little crazy if it goes missing! :-)

5. How do you divide your coupon binder?
My binder is divided into 13 categories. These include: baking and breads, beverages, breakfast, cans and condiments, cleaning supplies, dairy, frozen foods, meats, paper products, carbs, personal (like hygiene and medicines), baby and other/snacks.

6. Where do you use your coupons most often?
I prefer to shop for groceries at either Kroger or Bi-Lo. I think that they both have decent coupon policies and usually have good sales. I also buy from CVS and Walgreens. With their ECB’s (CVS) and register rewards (Walgreens), you can usually get a lot of free items and really good buys. You just need to match the sale items with your coupons, and store coupons if possible, to maximize your savings.

7. What blogs do you follow for couponing?
Just to name a few: Mama Cheaps, Hip 2 Save, Koupon Karen, Wild for Wags, Coupon Dad, and many more.

A few more tidbits—

If I do not absolutely need a product right then and there, I will not buy it unless it is on sale. I usually try to wait to buy stuff that I use on a regular basis until I have both a coupon and its on sale. If its not on sale this week… just be patient. It will be on sale within a few weeks in one store or another.

I NEVER will go into a store and buy so many of one product that it clears out the shelf. That is ridiculous and unthoughtful!

True couponing takes time. Unless you are willing to sit down and compare prices and match them with your coupons, you probably will not be very successful. It takes time to maximize your savings and to make sure you spend as little cash as possible! But, its usually rewarding!!

I do not just coupon for myself and my family– I coupon so that I can get free, or inexpensive, items to donate… it is not only about me but about helping those less fortunate. I would only hope my readers would do the same!!

Hope this helps! Happy couponing!!!

Whoever Humbles Himself like this Child….

12 Apr

In Matthew 18:3 and 4, Jesus says “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.”

This has been my prayer, it does not say in the Bible to ACT like a child, but to “become like little children”. Becoming like little children in the way of humility and humbleness. I am tired of walking around in my life and being shy, or afraid to tell people about Jesus or invite them to Church. I am more afraid of how they will recieve it, or if they will think I am crazy! THAT thinking is CRAZY!!! Since when is it OKAY to be more concerned about what people think of me, then what GOD thinks of me?!?! It is my duty, and yours too if you have accepted God’s call on your life, to show child-like humility and gumption.

In Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, it reads “What is childlike humility? It’s not the lack of intelligence, but the lack of guile. The lack of an agenda. It’s that precious, fleeting time before we have accumulated enough pride or position to care what other people might think…. It is the opposite of ignorance- is is intellectual honesty: to be willing to accept reality and to call things what they are even when is is hard.”

We must take pride in the Lord that has called us to do His will. We must take it upon our shoulders to do His work here on earth, until the day we are called home. We must NOT be afraid of people laughing at us, or whispering behind our back because we invite them to Church or talk about God around them. IT IS OUR DUTY TO BE A LIGHT in this world, not to be consumed by the darkness around us!!

I am tired of sitting and looking around at this world that nowadays has little to no faith and proclaiming “Oh, let someones else invite them to church, or pray for them” or whatever it may be. If you have accepted God as your Savior it has BECOME YOUR DUTY to SPEAK, ACT, and SHOW that!!!!

We must “become like little children” and have gumption to do what the Lord has called us to do! Nobody said when you became a Christian it would be easy, now, we have the burden of all those around us that could be going to Heaven with us, but, oh wait…. Were too ashamed of the God that we serve to INVITE people or TOUCH peoples lives the way that He has touched ours!!

WE MUST CHANGE AND BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN!!!

St. George

16 Mar

As many of you know, George took the position as lead Pastor at St. George Church of God in St. George, SC a few weeks ago. Our life has most definitely gotten more hectic since then but we could not be happier! The people at St. George are wonderful and the days that we are not there, we are biting tooth and nail to return. As of right now, we make the 90 minute commute on Thursdays, return late Thursday night and drive back up Sunday morning and return that night. Yes, we are learning that sleep is not all that important (haha!) and the extra miles we are putting on our car are worth it all! This has been George and I’s prayer for many years that He would open up doors for us to broaden our ministry and open up a Church that is yearning for Him with a deeper passion and to give George the words and let him be the best Pastor that he can be. We are both in awe of what God has entrusted us with thus far and have very high hopes for the people and ministry in St. George, and the surrounding areas, and believe that through God, all things are possible. I cannot wait to see what our future holds as a family and as leaders at St. George Church of God.

Destiny

2 Mar

Dont ask me why, but ever since I was a little girl I knew, deep down, that I would be a Pastor’s wife one day. I dont know if this was because I was around one- my Grandma- so much, or just because something inside of me knew that was my destiny… or calling. I also remember thinking the whole time while George and I were dating that he would be a Pastor. Now, I am not saying that I would, or could, not be happy not being a Pastors wife, or not having a husband as a Pastor, but I just believed these things early on. And I know that being a Pastor, or Pastor’s wife, may not be of importance to some, but to me, it is! I am tearing up writing this because as I sit here, I now am, I am a Pastor’s wife. My husband is a Pastor. WOW!!

What a big responsibility we have now. Not that we didnt before…. but now… it’s intensified!

I am greatful for where God has planted us for this season and cannot wait to see what He has in store for us!!

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