Category Archives: works-for-me-wednesday

Serving God by Serving Girls

Today’s a special edition of Works-for-me-Wednesday. Instead of focusing it on making my life easier, I’m hoping God will use this post to help out a fellow blogger. Thanks for stopping by from Shannon’s blog, but please don’t stay long! Go help Amy Beth!

I’ve been reading Amy Beth’s blog since the beginning of the summer, and I’m continually blessed by her heart for God. She heads up a ministry for girls in a small town in Tennessee not so far from where Christian is from, so I feel a special bond with her.

Her program, Starlite Ministries, serves elementary, middle and high school girls in her area. She does it by enlisting the help of college girls at the place where she went to college. Starlite is God-centered and girl-focused, and it’s not surprising that God has grown the ministry in big ways.

But times are tough. One of their biggest donors isn’t able to give as much this year, so Amy Beth has been looking for other ways to help fund Starlite.

She just posted about an opportunity from Microsoft on her blog. All you have to do is download a toolbar into Internet Explorer (I don’t even use Internet Explorer, so it doesn’t bother me at all to download it). Starlite will receive money based on the number of downloads.

Sure, obsessing over calendars and figuring out how to cure toothaches work for me, but serving God by serving these girls really works for me.

So head over to Amy Beth’s blog and download that toolbar!

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Easy, Painless Cures for Toothaches and Headaches

Welcome to everyone who made it here from Shannon’s blog! I hope you enjoy my contribution to Works-for-me-Wednesday. If you enjoy what you read, consider subscribing to my feed!

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or a dentist. Serious headaches or toothaches could be a sign of something serious, and if pain persists, you should see a doctor.

A few weeks ago I noticed one of my molars was really bothering me. It was very occasional, so I didn’t worry about it at first, but then it started hurting all the time. I was reluctant to call the dentist, because I don’t have wonderful health insurance right now, and it would have cost me an arm and a leg to even go to an appointment. I searched around online for a while and most of the advice was that toothaches either go away or get worse. Mine was getting worse, but I really wanted to know if it was something serious before going to the dentist. Finally, I turned to a source much better than the Internet: my mom.

She said she had the same problem months earlier and had gone to the dentist. His solution? Sensodyne toothpaste, because her problem was oversensitive teeth. She said it had cured the toothache in just a few days. I went to the store the next day and picked up a tube of Sensodyne. It was much more expensive than regular toothpaste – I paid $4.76 for one tube – but I knew that if it worked, I would have saved much more money than that by not going to the dentist.

I used it once a day (normally at night) and after only three days, my toothache was completely gone. I’ve continued using it once a day since then, and not even a trace of the ache has returned.

The other ailment I’ve been suffering from frequently is headaches. While I’m not opposed to taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen, the frequency of my headaches made me wonder if there wasn’t another issue. I finally realized that my headaches were from dehydration! I started by drinking more water overall, and then if I felt a headache coming on, I would drink 10-15 ounces of water immediately. In almost every case, my headache disappeared almost immediately. Ibuprofen might by helpful for really severe headaches (or you might not be getting enough sleep), but if you’ve noticed fairly frequent headaches and know you probably don’t drink enough water, increasing your water consumption might just be the cheap, easy and painless way to cure those headaches.

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Labels Aren’t Just For Nerds

Welcome to everyone who got here from Shannon’s blog! Kitchen management is the theme of this week’s Works-for-me-Wednesday. Check out Rocks in my Dryer for other great tips to staying organized in the most-used room of the house! And remember, if you like what you read, consider subscribing to my feed!

I don’t have kids or a husband, and the kitchen I use right now is really my mom’s. But for three years, I shared a kitchen with at least one roommate. And believe me, two 19-year-olds with grand cooking aspirations makes for one disorganized kitchen. We always had more food than we could eat, pots and pans we never used and we were also pretty terrible at doing the dishes. Thankfully, I think I’ve grown up a bit since then.

When I moved into an apartment with three roommates, things had to change. Especially when other people started eating my food (that is serious). And so I became a fan of labels. I would label my cheese, my leftovers, my drinks, etc. But probably the best way to use labels is… in the freezer.

How many times have you gone through your freezer (that’s a good question in and of itself, actually) and found meat that has been in there for approximately eight years? And also, you have no idea what it actually is – chicken, beef, pork? Keeping a permanent marker in your kitchen is a great tool for keeping up with what’s in your freezer. When you bring home a couple pounds of ground beef from the store, bag it up and label the bag with how much meat it is and the date you put it in there. Meat does last a long time in the freezer, but being able to “triage” your meat by using labels is one way you can make sure that when you open your freezer, everything doesn’t fall out on top of you.

Because trust me, that’s not pleasant. Even when everyting is labeled.

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Put Numbers In Your Cell Phone In Case Of Emergencies

If you found me through Shannon’s blog, welcome! I hope you’ll click through my meager archives and find more helpful ideas for living simply. If you like what you read, you can subscribe to my feed. Thanks for visiting!

I don’t know how many people these days have a cell phone, but I’m guessing more people have them than don’t. I got my first cell phone for my eighteenth birthday, and I was thrilled. My youngest sister got her cell phone at age 13. Seriously?

Anyway, having a cell phone is, obviously, convenient, especially if you’re often away from your home. In college, my cell phone was my only phone, so I had it with me at all times.

Aside from using my cell phone to, er, call people, I also use it as a conglomerate for all those important numbers that are hard to find when you really need them. Even if you’re at home all day with your kids, keeping all those numbers in one place where they won’t get spilled on or erased can keep anxiety low in a high-pressure situation.

Some of the numbers that might be handy to have in your cell phone include:

  • your bank
  • your credit card company
  • your computer manufacturer
  • your auto mechanic
  • your doctor
  • a locksmith
  • your landlord
  • your telephone/internet provider

These are all numbers that can be found somewhere, but sometimes you just don’t have time to look for them. I first put my computer manufacturer’s number in my phone a couple years ago because I was having problems and had to keep calling them. I put my bank’s number in my phone after an experience when I was out of town and my debit card didn’t work.

Keeping those numbers in one place – and easily callable – definitely works for me.

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The Basics: Running

Today’s post is doing double duty as I continue to write about the basics and also take part in Works-for-me-Wednesday. If you’re here from Shannon’s blog, thanks for visiting. If you like what you see, please consider subscribing to my feed!

Monday we talked about how to focus on the basics, and yesterday I wrote about spending time with God. Today we’re moving from the spiritual to the physical, because one of the most influential basics in my life is exercise.

I have a T-shirt from a 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) race. It says “New Brookland Lions Club: May 20, 2000.” I wore that short to work out in the other day and was amazed as I considered the fact that I’ve been running – kind of – for more than 8 years. In 2000, I had just finished up eighth grade and was looking ahead to high school. I had hardly run at all, but my mom was going to run in that race and so I had been doing some running with her.

Since then, I’ve run cross country races in high school and a few road races in college (a 5-mile leg of a marathon relay, a 10K in April). And since I started college I’ve gone to the gym fairly regularly.

I go in phases. Sometimes I’m really pumped up about it, especially if I’m training for something specific. Other times I hardly go at all. I’ve rode the exercise rollercoaster many times, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I feel better when I run. It’s amazing what endorphins can do.

I’m not saying that running and exercise is a cure-all. But running fills a lot of different needs. Allow me to elaborate.

Running lets you be alone.
I don’t have kids that I need a break from, but everybody enjoys some peace and quiet. And I’ll bet you that if you’re with a lot of other people (say, with family over the holidays) and you say you’re going to go for a run, no one will offer to join you.

Running gives you time to pray and think.
My mind and heart are always refreshed when I get back from a run. When you don’t have anything else to focus on, your mind tends to wander to what’s heaviest on your heart. Maybe someone you know is sick. My mind often goes to the little girl I sponsor in Peru. Even if you go on a short run, that’s 20-30 minutes or uninterrupted time for you to pray and work through whatever’s on your mind.

Running helps you stay healthy.
Notice that I didn’t say running helps you lose weight. It will do that if you’re paying attention to other factors as well (like your diet), but even if you’re not losing weight, you’re maintaining health by forcing your body to exert itself.

Running is so easy, anyone can do it.
This is one of the reasons I started running. I’d never been good at games that involved balls, so running was a natural choice. And to be a runner, you don’t have to run 4-minute miles. You just have to get out there and run.

Running is fairly inexpensive.
All you really need is a good pair of shoes.

Running is something you can do anywhere.
Of course, be smart about it, but as long as you’re in a safe environment, you can run no matter where you are. And in my opinion, running outside is way more fun than running inside, anyway.

If you don’t exercise regularly, it’s not hard to start running. You can take a look at the beginner’s guide I posted on my other blog earlier this year if you need help getting started. And feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me with any questions you have.

Seriously. Running works for me.

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Doing the Next Thing

I decided the best way to jumpstart my new blog would be to be a part of Shannon’s Works-for-me-Wednesdays. I blog regularly at Only Help My Unbelief (formerly called Grace, Grammar and Good Eats), but in an effort to focus my writing, today I’m premiering my new blog focused on developing a frugal, simple, healthy, fit, godly life. Thanks for stopping by, and please subscribe to my feed if you like what you see!

When you don’t have a job and grow tired of looking for one, sometimes it’s nice. I have time to do whatever I want, I often think. But within a couple of minutes of “doing whatever I want,” I quickly feel unproductive. This makes me feel like a complete failure, which makes me feel like I can’t do anything productive, even if I want to. It’s a vicious cycle that can only be stopped by the grace of God.

A few nights ago my mom was sitting and talking with me about different places to look for a job. She reminded me of a poem Elizabeth Elliott mentions in one of her books. The poem is called “Do the Next Thing,” and the basic premise is that when you’re in the middle of a desert, so to speak, thinking about the future is overwhelming. In fact, God commands us in Matthew 6 not to worry about tomorrow. Instead, we should just do the next thing.

Yesterday I had to make a lot of phone calls. I really don’t like talking on the phone about such matters as asking people if they have any job openings, so I was dreading it. But I had taped the words to this poem on the bulletin board above my desk, and as I read over it again, I just thought about the next thing I had to do. I prayed a quick prayer that Jesus would give me the grace to do that next thing. The phone call was over in about 30 seconds. And suddenly I was encouraged and invigorated to accomplish the rest of the things on my list!

Seriously. Doing the next thing works for me.

From an old English parsonage down by the sea,
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me, teaching from heaven.
And all through the doors, 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.
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing;
Then, as He beckons thee, do the next thing.
–Author unknown

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