Imperfect People

Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

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Imperfect People - Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

15 Things you should NOT pay for


There are plenty of things we HAVE to pay for but here is a quick list of everyday items that you should NOT have to pay for.  Enjoy saving some money!


Cleaning Supplies you DON’T need to pay for:


  1. A cleaner for every surface of your home: A solution of equal parts vinegar and water plus a splash of lemon juice is the perfect all purpose, all natural, and all frugal cleaning solution.  Perfect for an empty bottle of your old cleaning solution or a purchased spray bottle.  Bonus: vinegar is an awesome disinfectant! 
    A damp rag is all you need to dust and baking soda sprinkled in the toilet is a perfect toilet bowl cleaner! 
  2. Laundry detergent: I make my laundry detergent using soap nuts. Complete recipe here.  As if it wasn’t simple enough I found an even easier already made SUPER concentrated version of the same thing here. It is affordable, all natural, and very easy! 


Health and Beauty products you DON’T need to pay for:


  1. Face wash, toner, AND moisturizer: Face wash is full of random yucky unidentified chemicals, yet it leaves your face with nothing good.  Taking away all the oil  from your face leaves it needing moisturizer and a few hours later your face has to produce more oil to make up for what has been lost.  Ask any chemist and they will tell you oil cleans oil.  Yes I am talking about washing your face with oil.  I have done it for two years now and have no acne to speak of!  Only soft skin and less expense!  All the details here.   
  2. Shampoo and conditioner:
    Same rules apply to your hair as they do your face although i don’t advice washing your hair with oil.  I wash my hair with a shampoo bar. Affordable, chemical free, and it give my lifeless hair volume!  I dab coconut oil on my fingers and apply it to the ends after they have dried. Also worthy of note is the “poo free method” it didn’t work for me but many people swear by it and it doesn’t get any cheaper than that! 
  3. Hair products: Now that I clean my hair with natural products it is so weightless!  I no longer need mouse, gel, hairspray etc!
  4. Mouthwash: a solution of half peroxide half water is actually better than most commercial mouthwashes (says my dentist.)


General Items you DON’t need to pay for:


  1. Books Remember the library?  Good news…it still exists!  You can place a hold for your books online and it will be there waiting for you at the front desk.  If you have a kindle make sure you check the amazon kindle site and check it often. There are always free books.
  2. Basic Computer Software when you are buying a computer they want lots of extra cash for basic software (word-processing etc.)  Open Office is a free site where you can download all of that stuff for FREE
  3. Bottled water I think most people know by now that bottled water is nothing fancier than tap water. It is between 240 and 10,000 times more expensive than tap water and horribly bad for the environment (yes even if you recycle them).  If you are still stuck on bottled water read this
  4. Your credit report., the only truly free place to see all three of your credit reports for free once a year.
  5. Shipping:  This doesn’t work every time but before you complete your online purchase check
  6. DVD Rentals You can rent DVDs from RedBox locations for $1 a night and better yet, if you use one of the coupon codes from you can get it FREE. Most libraries now have free DVD rental as well.
  7. Cell Phone – Most major carriers will give you a free phone, even a free smart phone, with a 2 year contract.
  8. Basic Tax Preparation – If your taxes are not overly complicated, then you should probably be preparing your own tax return using one of the many free online services. It’s now common for e-filing to be free as well with many services. You won’t even need a stamp!
  9. Tupperware: Why not reuse that old spagetti jar? 

 Part of the Green Resource at Sorta Crunchy, the Greenbacks girl, Life renewed, and a Delightful home

 Have other suggestions?  I would love to hear your comments!

Jesus needs a better advertising campaign

The Barna Group, a respected Christian survey organization, recently asked young people to identify which perceptions they most strongly associate with Christianity. The three most commonly agreed-upon were: anti-homosexual, judgmental, and hypocritical.

Westboro Baptist church has made headlines with their “God hates fags” philosophy where they protest soldiers funerals.  Also making headlines are abortion clinics being bombed & protests for nearly everything under the sun.

At almost every event with a large crowd you can find “the megaphone man” yelling about hell and eternal damnation. 

All in the name of Jesus?? 

If this is the Christianity the world sees than no wonder many people are not interested. 

My dear friend Katelyn posted this awesome quote:

I have decided to stop letting political and religious organizations represent me on the issues. I have decided to represent myself, and in so doing I hope to accurately represent Christ.

-Mike Foster “Unchristain”

Dear friends, Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of Jesus.


We are imperfect people for sure.  Our attempts to model Jesus are clumsy at best.  He calls us, imperfect and broken, to transform us so we are no longer the same.  We just don’t always leave the old us behind. 

Please don’t reject Christ because of Christians.  We are still trying to wrap our head around the God of the universe wanting to make disciples out of us. 

Despite our misrepresentation, Jesus was a pretty amazing guy. 

He was the preacher of all preachers yet you could find him dining with some of the worst “sinners” of his day.  Mark 2:15

He was the King of all the universe yet he was born to regular people in a palace no wait, a manger.  Luke 2:7

He deserved servants and crowns, yet he washed his disciples feet. John 13 1-17

He is the only one that was or ever will be worthy of all the fame and fortune of the world, yet he was a servant. Mark 9:35

He spoke love into the people no one loved. John 4

He would touch those no one else would touch. Mark 1:40-45

He did nothing wrong, but he never tried to defend himself. John 18:28-38

He could have had a thousand Angels come to take his place on the cross, but he took mine instead.   John 19:28-30

 I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion.

-Shane Claiborne

The Jesus I know is turning the world upside down with his love.  The less I get in the way the better he can “advertise” through me. 

Have you ever witnessed a not so great “advertisment” for Jesus?

-Katie Tags: christian,jesus,PR,advertising

Mom guilt

Faced with the overwhelming responsibility of mothering the next generation; mothers often feel like we are not doing enough, or not doing it just right. 

I am certainly guilty of this myself, and I have never met another mom who didn’t feel the same. 

Although it’s a positive sign that we’re trying to do our best, we need to learn to let it go so that we can be our best.   A guilty conscience is doing no one any good, if anything it is just causing frustration.  Either a change needs to be made or an acceptance needs to take place. 

Truthful Guilt:

In this type of guilt there really is something that could be better.  What is nagging over your head that you know needs to be changed?   You have put it off for whatever reason.  Let’s not wait any longer.  Our children are growing up everyday, let’s take steps today to make our tomorrow the best it can be

Guilt from Unrealistic expectations:

I feel like my picture should be beside these words with a stamp on my forehead saying “guilty”.  Actually, I do need a picture for this post….

We compare ourselves to our neighbor who has a beautiful yard, our best friend whose children can recite the entire bible (minor exaggeration), the one whose home is always immaculate, and the one who is always doing craft projects with her kids. 

My favorite saying around here is, “We compare ourselves to what others are on the outside to what we know to be true of ourselves on the inside”

Yes Sally (names changed to protect the innocent) may be crafty, but I bet she doesn’t have the talent you do! Be thankful for Sally’s talent and note that she probably doesn’t have yours! 

We all have at least one talent, but not one of us have all the talent. 

Most importantly comparing ourselves to others is a lose, lose battle.  The only perfect one worthy of comparing ourselves to is Jesus.  He was not a mom, but  He was an amazing and effective teacher.  He corrected and showed grace at all the right times. He was selfless and He loved….like REALLY LOVED, even when we didn’t deserve it.  What a model!!

When you feel the unwelcome feeling of guilt creeping in again:

  1. Determine if it is true or unrealistic guilt
  2. If it is true: Do something. Make the changes right then, or take steps to make the situation better.
  3. If it is untrue.  Thank God for making  you the mother that you are.  Focus on what you do well.  And enjoy doing what you do best with your kids. 

As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

What do you think? Do you carry mom guilt? I love your comments!

Choosing to cheat

I told my husband the other day I could stay up all night long and still have way too much on my to do list, to which he responded, “shorten your to-do list”

Profound!  Simple, maybe even obvious but I thought it was brilliant…he’s a smart guy.  I think all of us have expectations we place on ourselves that don’t REALLY have to be done. 

Andy Stanley wrote a book called “choosing to cheat” The premise states that we cannot possibly do everything so we must cheat in one or more areas of our life.  There are simply not enough hours in a day or days in a year to do and be everything we want.  We are then faced with the choice to decide what is most important.

Although we don’t see it this way it is even a little egotistical to think we are soooo important that we must get so much done.  If the world will keep spinning and no one will be physically harmed if we don’t complete the task then is it really THAT important? 

Cheating suggestions:

Housework:  Everyone has different “must does’” for a clean home.  I think it is essential to take a moment to define what a clean home is to you.  What is most important and what areas can you cheat? It will just get dirty again anyway!

The Internet:  Rescue time is a free internet service designed to keep you accountable for how much time you spend on the net.  On average it rescues people from almost 4 hours of time a week! 

Television: Along with the internet these are the two biggest time suckers for most families.  Be intentional with your television.  Ask is this show WORTH my time?  Give yourself a number you are comfortable with for hours spent per week in front of the tube. 

Extra activities:  If your kids are in soccer, dance, karate, football, and piano all at the same time you might want to take a step back and ask what is most important and what is not.  Or maybe you are the president of the PTA, the bible study leader, the volunteer and the helper for EVERYTHING in your city.  Just incase you need permission…It’s okay to say no.
(ouch I am so guilty of this)

Work more effectively:  No matter where you work: in an office or at home there are ways to work more efficiently.  4 hour work week  is a book dedicated to helping your work more effectively.

Barter anyone?:  You can’t do it all but together we can.  Babysitting is a great way to trade services.  You watch my kids and I’ll watch yours.  I have a friend that does all my monogramming and I make her little girls hair bows.  PERFECT!! 

What is a skill or service you can offer?  Trading is much more fun that spending money and is a helpful way to get what you need by “cheating” 

Share your thoughts: In what ways do you “cheat?”

Favorites & Reflections on 2011

A whole year has passed and what do I have to show for it?  Have I learned anything?  What were the best parts?

Thanks to Simple mom and Sorta crunchy for a little inspiration. I sat on our back porch enjoying our fabulous spring like southern December to reflect on the past year.

A phrase or statement that describes 2011 for me is:

Developing an attitude of gratefulness.  Learning to love what I have instead of wanting more.  Viewing my “problems” through a different lens and realizing how much I am blessed.

What I learned:

The biggest thing I learned in 2011 is:
God is 100% all the time in control (not me).  He knows what is best for my life even when I disagree.

What is a new found passion?
De-cluttering!  Stuff is just stuff.  I would much rather have room to play!

I am most inspired by?
Bryan (the hubs)  I have never met anyone more self-motivated, always growing. always wanting to be better and always kind.

Something I am proud of?
My baby brother graduating college, and Hannah learning to write her name.

Something new I tried this year?
I am getting pretty creative and experimental in the kitchen.  I have made my own yogurt, canned salsa, jelly etc., and grew my own sprouts.

Mistakes I would rather not repeat:
Locking my keys in my car (more than once), trying to catch the kitchen on fire by making popcorn the good ole fashion way, and getting the stomach bug (arguably un-preventable but still no fun).


Best books I read this year:
Radical, and Simplicity parenting

My current favorite song:
Father of love

Favorite internet time waster:

Favorite movie:
Annie.  Yes fromt the 80′s.  Hannah and I are watching it and I am remincing my childhood.  LOVE IT!

Blog related:
Most inspiring testimony shared here in 2011:
Kisses from Katie

My favorite post:
No judgment

Readers favorite post:
I’m an imperfect Christian

Favorite pics this year:

Family picture in Kansas City this fall

Girls on the swingset laughing hysterically. Ava is wearing a bathing suit over her clothes too. Nice touch.

My granddad, mom, me, and the girls. 4 generations all together at my cousins wedding.

What were your 2011 highlights?

Starting over

I have finally and sort-of successfully converted this blog to a word press!


-Because it is 100 million times easier to edit, much more friendly to the search engines, and it is self hosted!


It was a pain and a lot was lost.


Over the next two weeks I will be re-posing several of the top posts.  Hopefully this will be a fun reminder of the “good stuff” for some and a highlight reel for others.

Comments were lost so dropping a line would make me your very best-est friend!  

P.S.  a BIG thank you to bluehost for going above and beyond to help me with the change!  And Tent Blogger for suggesting them!

Acting out the Christmas Story

This year we started a new tradition.  Acting out the Christmas story! 

I am no supermom, the thought of crafts and elaborate plans intimidate me.  But I wanted our kids to better understand WHY we celebrate Christmas.  The books are great but most kids learn by doing.  Instead of overcomplicating things, I tried my hand at a simple play. 


I am guest posting today at Stringer Mama. Head on over to read the rest! 



The real St. Nicholas (Santa is not Satan)

Today’s post is a re-post from a very popular Santa is not Satan post from last year.  I hope you enjoy!

If Christmas is the day we celebrate Christ’s birth then where did “Santa” come from?  Are Christians to ban Santa trinkets, sweaters and wrapping paper to show our loyalty?  I think a little education is helpful on why or how the whole Santa thing came about. 

Who is St. Nicholas?

His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering.

He did many kind and generous deeds in secret, expecting nothing in return.  He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to the those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.

The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).

And that (in a nutshell)  is how we have the legend of Santa Claus.  I don’t know about you but that Santa doesn’t sound like such a bad guy.   He has certainly become over materialized but isn’t everything in our culture? 

St. Nicholas would have NEVER wanted the legend of him to be greater than the Jesus he served. 

That is where our job as parents is to teach our children about Christmas, the importance of Jesus’ birthday, and about the real “Santa Claus.”  The only list he was making and checking twice was those whom he could serve.   In fact how amazing would it be if everyone knew who the REAL St. Nicholas was and how he was such a model of Christ. 

Personally, we tell our kids about the real Santa.  We say people dress up like him today because the amazing person that was St. Nicholas.  Sure Santa is fun but we don’t pretend that he is coming through the chimney.

At the end of the day “Santa” is not Satan.  Getting caught up in banning Santa clothing, wrapping paper and decor is just plain silly in my humble opinion.  The real Santa can teach us a lot about our Lord through the servant life he lived.

Let’s show the world what Christians are FOR instead of what we are against. 

St. Nicholas was an amazing example of what we are FOR…Christ’s love.

I just ran across this blog that has a very clever family tradition of playing “St. Nick” and anonymously giving gifts around their town.  I love it! 

Join the conversation.  What are your thoughts on Santa? Tags: Christmas Santa Satan

Frugal Christmas, Homemade gifts and wrapping!

I thought it would be fun to do a little homework on some fun homemade Christmas gifts!   My search lead me to plenty of suggestions.  I weeded out all of the horribly tacky, non-useful, and way too difficult projects.  Leaving you with all the good stuff :)  

Without further adieu, Plug in your glue gun, open the kitchen cabinets, and let’s go homemade this Christmas! 

First up, the wrapping:

 Let’s think “outside the box”

  • Reusable shopping totes cost just as much as a gift bag yet they are reusable!  Tie a bow to the top and there ya go!
  • Baskets also make a great reusable gift presentation.

Inside the box

  • When wrapping a box, instead of wrapping the box and lid as one unit, wrap each separately. When you use the wrapped box, secure it closed with ribbon or another tie, not tape or glue. Also, tie on the gift card and trimming. Reuse the box without re-wrapping it until it looks shabby.
  • Newspaper, butcher paper, and paper bags (laid flat and cut) are all great wrapping paper alternatives. 

Now the gifts!

  • Conversation starters booklets.  A cute book of lots of fun random questions like:

What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep?
What did you do for your 13th birthday?

  Perfect for car rides or date night and a great gift for a couple.

Homeade gifts

complete instructions here

  • Herbal infused Olive oil  Got a Rosemary plant?  Got olive oil?  Why not make a super easy rosemary infused olive oil.

homeade gift
Warm olive oil in a sauce pan.  Pour  into the bottle with a few freshly harvested clean rosemary sprigs.  Put the bottle (perfect opportunity to re-purpose an old bottle) aside to cool. Seal with a lid or a cork. Set the bottle in a dry, cool place with no direct sunlight for at least one week. And there you have a fabulous gift for the chef in your family.  More details here.

  • Homemade candies, chocolates, cookies and cakes are always a hit.  Try this recipe for homemade truffles!
  • Give the gift of your time or skill.  Whether you are Mr. Fix it, a hairstylist, or you can babysit.  Offering your service is a great gift! 
  • Themed baskets/or buckets are always fun.  Fill a popcorn bucket with packages of microwave popcorn and movie tickets for a date night basket! Other ideas are:  Spaghetti night  baskets with sauce, noodles, garlic bulbs all in a colander. Or (my personal favorite) a watering can filled with gardening gloves, seed packets and a trowel.  
  • The gift of family history.  This is one of my favorite ides.  Each year choose a topic to write about your family’s history.  Every member contributes their own unique story to the theme.  Example themes are: how you met your spouse, the first home you lived in, a funny story about when you were a kid.  What a treasure these stories would be from our 80 year plus grandparents! 
  • Reasons why I love you.  Just take an empty jar,  then type out all the reasons you love that person.  Print then cut into strips and place in jar.  Recipient can pull one out a day to be reminded of your love.

memory jar, homeade gift

  • A memory jar.  Similarly  to the reasons why I love you this gift is a GREAT idea for a grandparent or other older relative:  Contact friends and family members and ask them to send memories and old pictures.  Memories can be placed on folded card stock placed in a large jar or may be better in a homemade booklet.   They will LOVE it! 
  • Family Recipe Books collecting all your families favorite recipes (if they are not a secret) and compiling them in a book to share with everyone is certain to be a crowd pleaser. 

If homemade is not your thing, please check out my gifts with meaning post.  Whether your gift is homemade or fair trade what a wonderful difference you are making! 

Join the conversation.  What is one of your favorite homemade gifts you have given or received?   

Part of the Green Resource at Sorta Crunchy, the Greenbacks girl, Life renewed, and a Delightful home Tags: Frugal,homeade,christmas,green,simple living

Gifts with meaning

The average US family spends about $800 per year on Christmas yet most of us don’t even remember what we got last year.  Much of it is exchanged, collecting dust, or forgotten in our mass of STUFF. 

Instead of a gift that will be forgotten…Why not give a gift that MEANS something? 

There are several amazing organizations that allow you to purchase beautiful handmade items and your dollars directly support freeing slaves, or ending poverty! 

Some of my favorite are:

Trade as One

Trade as one fair trade gift


Amazima Ministries


One of my friends bought the necklace from Amazima ministries and let me tell you it is even cuter in person! 


And World Vision.


The gift of changing lives, hope to the poor, and freedom for the oppressed is much more exciting than fruit cake don’t you think?