Archive for the ‘WFMW’ Category

>How To Find Your Inner Self-Control

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Are you self-controlled or like a wild horse?

Last night I went to a group meeting for moms at a church I don’t normally attend. I had considered joining the group a couple years ago when we moved here, but decided against it, but when I found out my blogging friend Kristen would be there promoting her Kenyan maternity home, Mercy House, I thought I’d drop by and say hello. I’ll write more about Mercy House, a cause I have been supporting for awhile, later this week. But today I want to reflect on the subject that the evening’s main speaker covered, self-control.

The woman speaking was Lori Joiner, who works for Campus Crusade and apparently also teaches aerobics. She looks like and has the energy of an aerobics instructor for sure. She talked about how important self-control is in the lives of women like us, and pulled out a ton of scripture about it. Lori said that the enemy often encourages us to believe one of two lies:

1. “This is just the way that I am. I’ve always been this way.” She used several specific examples, such as having an anger problem or an over-eating issue. She even brought up that crazy TLC show about the bizarre addictions like the woman that eats detergent or toilet paper. These people often say that’s just the way that they are, but they are consumed in a destructive way by their lack of self-control.

2.”Every other area in my life is great and glorifying to God, so it’s ok if I just let this one little lack of self-control go.” Like when we tell ourselves and God, “I pray, I read the Bible, I volunteer here and there, look how great my life is! It’s not really harming anything if I gossip, or shop too much.”

Self-control is all about the choices we make. The more we make the choice to indulge our temptation, the stronger it gets until we feel helpless to it. Addicted. She used the image of having two dogs inside our heads, the spirit and the flesh, always battling it out. Which dog wins? Well that depends on which dog we feed and which dog we starve. So there are many ways that we can starve that dog that wants us to give into the flesh and have no self-control.

  • Praying offensively, especially at the start of the day. Don’t wait till things happen and you have to react, pray first thing that the Lord would use your eyes, mind, feet to serve Him that day. Pray for victory in whatever area you are struggling with.
  • Fasting. She suggested looking online for resources on the various kinds of fasting that can help you claim victory over temptation. Lori was very encouraging that we should try fasting when we are struggling with self-control. 
  • Memorizing scripture. Particular scriptures that relate specifically to the thing you are wrestling with. 
We had a great time of discussion at my table about our weaknesses and how we might tackle them. Some that came up among the women I sat with were laziness, pride, negative body image and nagging. We agreed that some of these areas where we lack self-control can be really easy for us to hide as SAHM’s. We tell ourselves that we have worked hard and we deserve to sit in front of the TV or internet at night instead of folding the laundry. We agreed that as girlfriends we have a tendency to enable each other in some of these weaknesses, like shopping or skipping the gym. Finding the right person to hold you accountable is also a great way to starve that dog of the flesh as well. 
One verse that really hit me was Psalm 32:9-10.

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him.

So do any of these sound like good ideas to you? If you’re willing maybe you could share an area you’ve either been wrestling with, or one that used to be a problem but you’ve claimed victory over? 

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>Why Facebook Fan Pages Are So Great

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So pretty much everybody in the modern world is on Facebook now, except for my friend Ellie. That means, by default, that they have a personal Facebook page. Personal pages are great because they can be private and secure, and you can share lots of details and photos from your life that are…well…personal! Unlike many bloggers I know, I do not accept friend requests from people that I don’t know in real life, or at least very, VERY well online. I’m not Facebook friends with anyone that works for my company, that’s what LinkedIn is for. I have already chosen not to hire at least one person, despite an excellent resume, because of photos on his/her personal Facebook page. So I am pretty careful about who can see mine.

But since I am a blogger and a photographer, I want to share things with people who might not otherwise find my blog or website. People are on Facebook, so that’s where marketers need to be, even if you’re just marketing yourself. This is the purpose of Fan pages! I have been amazed at the people who have “Liked” my blog or photographer website’s Fan pages that I can find no previous connection to at all. The Water Water Everywhere Facebook page is like it’s own little community, separate and distinct from the community of regular readers and commenters here on the actual blog. I can post questions and links and get great instant feedback there more frequently than I can publish whole blog posts. If you want to know what I’m reading regularly? (I read and share a LOT) That’s where you find out. Facebook Fan pages were recently updated with lots of new features that I’m still learning about too.

So in short, I think everyone who is trying to actively build a community around their blog should have a Facebook Fan page. It certainly works for me. I would sure love it if you’d go ahead and “Like” Water Water Everywhere to join my awesome community. You can just look to the right of this post, find my Facebook community link and click “Like” without ever leaving here…it’s that simple!

So tell me, do YOU have a Facebook Fan page?

>Introducing All Things Chic

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I have very exciting news! Well, exciting for me anyway. You all know I love fashion. I love shopping. I like nice stuff, although I am also very fiscally conservative. (I’m watching the State of the Union while I type this, so that political descriptor popped into my head.) I have never done a whole lot of reviewing particular products on my site, but on occasion I love to rave about a great find. Well now I have a new place to do just that.

My dear friends Jo-Lynne and Melissa are launching a brand new site today called All Things Chic, and I am a contributor. The site will feature all kinds of fashion, style, beauty, home decor, design, and family products. Lots of really cool stuff. We have a team of ladies who know what they love and are just dying to share it with you. Collectively we’ve got serious style and taste. We have a bit of diversity too as far as age, stage of life and ethnicity…and undoubtedly personal styles.

My posts will cover the gamut of products and looks, but of course I will likely write about some of my weaknesses like jewelry, shoes, and keeping our little boys stylish. Right now I’m slated for posts on Fridays, so those will be in addition to my Fashion Friday posts here.

I’m very excited about this new venture and I hope you will check it out. I’ve known Jo-Lynne for well over a decade and I know she’s got style and what it takes to run a successful blog. Bringing together a team of great bloggers is a great way to create a beautiful resource for all women. Because as I said earlier this week, blogging is all about community.  And that totally works for me.

Update: I realize the new site is not live yet. It was supposed to go up last night but there must be some glitch, so I’m just going to keep this post here anyway. Also, don’t miss the big launch party on All Things Chic next week, with tons of giveaways!

>Enjoy Salad Dressing Without All the Fat and Calories

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Today’s Works for Me Wednesday tip is a truly simple one that I learned from my Weight Watcher’s leader many years ago when I actually went to weekly meetings. In March of 1998 while I was home from college, my dad sat me down and gently suggested that he and I could both stand to lose a few pounds and exercise more. Neither of us was obese by any standard, but he was right. I cheerfully agreed and then returned to college without giving it another thought, since I was focused on finishing my honors thesis, graduating, and getting married all in the next couple of months. Then he died, suddenly of a heart attack in December. I think it was the following March that I signed up for Weight Watchers, followed the program faithfully and lost over 30 pounds.

Eating healthfully almost necessarily involves a lot of salad. I am not a fan of salad without a really tasty salad dressing, and most super low fat dressings are disgusting. So here’s the tip that rocked my world. Especially at restaurants where dressings are delicious and especially fattening.

Ask for the dressing on the side. Then take your fork and dip it in the dressing first, then stab some veggies and eat. 

You will be amazed at the result. You get all the taste of the dressing, but a teeny tiny fraction of the calories compared to pouring the dressing over the lettuce. Try it sometime and see how much is leftover in your dressing cup when you’re done.

So tell me what your favorite salad dress is. Mine? Is the Tangy Tomato at Outback Steakhouse. Yum!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

>National Adoption Day Comes to Harris County Family Court

>I had the most amazing day today. Thanks to our newly formed orphan and adoption ministry, 1:17, and our participation in a larger alliance of churches in Houston for adoption, I got the chance to help out with a huge celebration of adoption today. Today in the Harris County family court system we celebrated National Adoption Day by throwing a huge party for about 46 kids being welcomed into forever families. Here’s the story as shown on the local news tonight. You can see me in one shot wielding my camera in the background, since my main job was…of course…photography!

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I can’t wait to share more photos from the day, but the court has to go through them all to make sure they are ok for publishing. It was barely controlled chaos in our party room…a converted courtroom filled with waiting families, crafts, food, gifts, clowns and Santa! Then in two courtrooms on the same floor we had concurrently running dockets full of adoption consummations. I got the chance to witness about ten of these, and to take the first official family photo in the courtroom with the presiding judge. There were tears of joy and hugs all around. And that totally works for me!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

>Surprising Benefits to Reusable Grocery Bags

>HEB-0103I made a recent discovery that has kind of rocked my world, in a small way. Many of you have already figured this out, and I realize I am totally late to the game. I have discovered that I really do LOVE using reusable grocery bags! (Like the one  pictured here, along with some other products I received as a blog promotion by HEB and Con Agra Foods) Even though I am an environmental engineer and I believe in taking steps towards green living, I had shied away from using those cloth bags for a long time, especially when you had to buy them. Now it seems everyone is giving them out, especially at local neighborhood festivals. So after awhile I had collected about five good sized bags, and one day I decided to try using them on one of my big grocery store trips.

Low and behold, I LOVE these things. Because they are usually big, structured, with a flat bottom they hold MORE food per bag than any stupid plastic bag does. Plus they don’t roll around in the back of my minivan the way food in plastic bags often does. And the extra long handles make it so that I can sling one or two over my shoulder, thereby carrying twice as many groceries from the car into the house at once!
works for me wednesday at we are that family
This is all beside the fact that I’m not cluttering up my house or the landfills with those cheap plastic bags that aren’t good for much, or those paper bags that trees had to die for. It’s not only green, it’s convenient to use them. As an added bonus, when I use them at Target they take five cents off my total bill per bag that I use. It’s not much, but it’s a great way to  promote responsible, sustainable living.

So start collecting those free reusable bags and remember to bring them with you INTO the store. I find I have to leave them in the front of my car so that I will remember to take them. That’s what works for me.

Here’s a short video I made last spring when I was driving a Malibu for awhile and blogging for Chevy about it. This shows how well the reusable bags work in a trunk.


Grocery Shopping In the Chevy Malibu from Sarah Hubbell on Vimeo.

>Dining Out for Free

>Today’s Works for Me Wednesday is about how my husband and I have changed our spending habits and found a great way to still eat out occasionally…for free! Since we started Financial Peace University and created a monthly spending plan, we purposely cut one of our biggest money wasters…eating out. We are still adjusting the monthly allowance and learning how to eat at home more often. But I have discovered one way I can keep eating out occasionally without busting our budget, through our credit card rewards program.

According to Dave Ramsey’s plan we should never use credit cards and pay for everything with cash. That is WISE advice for people who have had trouble with credit and have racked up lots of consumer debt. We don’t fall into that category, thankfully, so we still use one credit card for many of our purchases each month. The key is that we have never ever had to carry a balance on that card, and we are now watching and tracking our spending very closely. We have used a Discover Card for many years because of the 1-5% cash back rewards system it has. We used to simply apply the cash we got back in the form of rewards to the balance on our bill. That money is kind of like bonus money, since many cards don’t offer it.

works for me wednesday at we are that family

Lately instead of taking the reward in the form of cash, we trade it in for gift cards to some of our favorite restaurants. With Discover we can spend $45 is rewards money and get a $50 gift card to Panera Bread, Chipotle, or Outback Steakhouse for example. That’s five dollars extra “free money” on every transaction. Because we use that one card for regular expenses like daycare and groceries, we usually can get two $50 gift cards every month in cash back rewards.

When I looked at our expenses before we started Financial Peace, I was shocked by how many $8 lunches at Chipotle my husband had racked up. Now he has started bringing his lunch to work instead of eating out every single day, but he can use that Chipotle gift card to eat lunch out at least once a week…essentially for free! The same goes for me and Panera Bread, since it is a mere two miles from my house and I often went there for coffee and a bagel or a take-out lunch when working from home. We also often head to Panera after church for a family lunch. I have cut back on meals out, but I feel great about being able to use my $50 Panera card to cover the occasional indulgence.

So this plan may not work for everyone, but it is definitely working for me. Got any similar tips for eating out on a tight budget?