Faith, MONAT, Other

My Self Discovery Path

As mentioned in earlier posts I have joined an exciting new company called MONAT Global and it has taken me down an interesting path to self discovery.  I know that may sound strange to some of you.  How can a direct sales company do that?  What kind of self discovery can a person find in a hair care company? Hair care, really?  Hang in there because those were some of my thoughts just a few short months ago!

Self Discovery

Okay, where do I start??

I joined MONAT the end of February with much thought and prayer put into it.  That is a first for me!  I like to jump right into things without thinking about it first.  That usually gets me into trouble down the road.  This time I wanted to make sure that this was not just something that sounded fun or a way for me to get a discount on REALLY great hair care products.  I was not about to invest in something that may not pay off.  My family has been on a journey to cut back, de-clutter and simplify our lives and I didn’t see how jumping into a direct sales company fit into that lifestyle.  So I decided to leave it up to God.  I  spend many days and nights in prayer and conversation trying to weigh my options.  Boy am I glad I did!!  God lead me to MONAT for a reason, which at that time I hadn’t yet figured out what that was other than to make an income so I could stay home with my children.  What I didn’t know was all the other amazing things that would come this decision.

LOGO

After deciding to join, I jumped right in and began promoting my business.  I talked to many people!  I mailed out a lot of free samples!  I set up events to kick start my new business!  I read all the policies, procedures and other documents for my upline!  I was ready to make some money!!  And money I made which was great motivation to keep going.  I was building my team and making some very nice bonuses.  I really felt like I was doing just what I was supposed to be doing.  Now don’t get me wrong, all of those things are very important and that is the way to build a business but I was missing something.  Change is always hard and falling into the same old rut is easy to do for me.  My husband would agree that I like to start things but not necessarily see them through.  I needed something but I was unsure of what it was so I took it back to God in prayer.

Setting goals and figuring out my priorities has never been my strong suit!  I know that they are probably important but I would just made lists of what I needed to do or what I was going to accomplish and try to cross them off.  Simple, right? Easy, right?  WRONG!!!  My intentions were good but I had no plan for action and follow through.

SMART Goals

As I was reading my emails one morning about a week ago I came across something interesting.  I clicked on the link and to my surprise was a FREE 14 day course on how to Make Over Your Mornings by one of my favorite blogging moms, Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom! Morning have always been one of my biggest challenges.  I don’t like mornings!  I LOVE sleep!  But, I also don’t like arguing with my family in the morning while trying to get everyone up and ready all while trying to take care of the things I need to right away.  This has just been a lose-lose situation and I really need to change this aspect of my life.  So you can imaging how excited I was to find this.  The best part is that each day of this course was not time consuming.  15 minutes each day.  “I can handle that,” I thought!

Money Savig Mom 2

Now I am on my way to better mornings which will improve my overall day (or that’s the plan anyway)!!  Finding this great resource from Money Saving Mom reminded me that I had purchased the book Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine. Isn’t it funny how things just come together when we put our trust in God.  He had given me all the resources that I needed little by little but I was not in the right place to put them all together until NOW!!  This book helps set priorities, write goals and make the changes needed to be productive during our day.

Say Goodbye to Survival Mode

So back to me not liking change.  I have come to realize that I don’t have to like things but I may have to change things in order to get a different outcome.  I need to revisit my priorities and figure out how to live a productive, purposeful life.  I have been letting life run me instead of me running my life!  This is not getting my anywhere and I need to do something different.  I believe that God has a very big plan for my life and I am now able to see that and I can put the puzzle together so I can see the big picture!

Think Big

My MONAT business has started out very good and I have made income but I realized that I need to really take on the leadership role and help those on my team and others reach their goals.  Many people join direct sales companies to meet a need and typically it is a financial need.  That was my initial reason for joining as well but I am beginning to see that there is so much more to it than just that.  I have always wanted to help others so why stop now.  I can become a strong leader and reach other to others to help them dream big and find the financial stability they are looking for.  I have been in many direct sales companies in the past but MONAT equips us in all the right ways with an amazing foundation! Read about why MONAT was launched here.  Our founder, Luis Urdaneta says, “To be truly successful, you need to invest in the success of those around you!”  I want to help others be successful, figure out what their dreams are and help them reach even bigger!!

Dream Big

In closing, I believe that I am in the right place at the right time (God’s time)!!  ARE YOU???

With some good old fashion hard work and dedication my life is going to change.  Who wants to change their life with me?  Let me help you find what you are longing for!

www.crystalstevenson.mymonat.com

God Bless, Crystal

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Cleaning/Organization, Other, Saving Money

Greeting Cards and Our Loved Ones

I am so terrible at sending greeting cards but I really long to send them to my loved ones because I do think about them often especially on their special days.

I wish I had a better method for doing so.

Wouldn’t you know it I found a great way to make sure all my loved ones know I AM thinking about them on those special days!!!

Crystal Paine from Money Saving Mom (my very favorite blog to follow and I am pretty sure her name has nothing to do with it:)) shared a great post from Rachel of Ordinary Homemaker a few days ago!

greeting-cards

Check out this great way to be organized with greeting cards here!

God Bless,

Crystal

Other

Free Giveaway!!

It’s time for some fun!  Who likes drawings?  Who likes FREE items?  I will make this really easy!

For the rest of February I am giving away 2 free handmade wooden sign.

Head over to my Facebook page Country Chaos Blog and Like my page.  I will put all new likes from February in a drawing for an awesome handmade wooded sign!!!!
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My dad and I have a craft/woodworking business called The Crafty Wood Shop.  One of my favorite things to make are wooden signs.
Head on over to our Facebook page The Crafty Wood Shop and click Like.  You will be put into a drawing for another wooden sign.
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You can win both drawings!!!
I will let the winners pick a saying a colors on their sign but here are some examples of my boards.
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Tell all your friends so they have a chance to win also!!
Good luck & God Bless,
Crystal
Holidays, Other, Saving Money

Last Minute Valentine’s Gifts

If you are a procrastinator like me you probably looked at the calendar today and thought “Holy cow, Valentine’s Day is in 3 days!  What am I going to get _____________ for Valentine’s Day?”

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There are lot of things you can buy but Amazon has some nice gifts you can give your little loved one.

 

If you need a last minute gift check out these nice ideas from Amazon.

You can also see my previous post to make some nice gifts.

Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 27: Reading the Word

Day 27 of 31 days of Consistency & Children

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There is one area that I am not consistent with my children on and pray that I can be.

Reading God’s Word is a passion that I have recently found.  I find deep peace in reading the Bible.  I am not consistent in reading each day but I am working on that.  I long to read from the Bible each day to my children as well.  I want them to hear God’s word and to want them to read the Bible for themselves as well.

Each one of my children has their own Bible (well my 5 year old will have his own on Christmas).  My 3 year old has a childrens Bible and we have numerous Bible stories.  I feel it is very important for them to have their own Bible so they can read it, make notes in it, and whatever else they choose to do.

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I pray that God can help me teach my children his word and that I can carve out the time to do so.  I don’t really have a good method or plan to reading it myself and I would really like insight on a good reading plan.  I would love to read the Bible in a year but I am much more passionate about reading it daily for myself and reading it daily to my children.  I welcome any ideas or suggestions.

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Thank you in advance!

God Bless,

Crystal

Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Day 26: Peer Pressure

Day 26 of 31 days of Consistency & Children

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How do you handle peer pressure with your children?

All children face it at some point in their young lives.  No parent wants to see their children hurting or struggling with decisions to do the right thing or to follow their friends.  How do we teach our kids not to “Fit In?”

This can be challenging because we want our kids to be liked and to have friends and not to be picked on but we don’t want them to sacrifice their values.

I don’t think God wanted us all to do the same thing.  I am pretty sure God wants us to be our own individual which is why he created us all unique!!

My husband and I try to express to our children that they don’t have to do what everyone else is doing especially if they know it is wrong or if they feel led to do something else.  We all feel judged by others at times and that is hard for kids to experience.

Lynn Cowell is a wonderful woman that will help direct you to raising wise daughters!!!  My two oldest children are girls so I like to use her resources.  I have yet to find a great resource geared toward boys but I am still looking.  If you have any suggestions please share them with me.  I like to have go to Christian resources for ideas!!

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How do you handle peer pressure in your house?  What do you do to prevent your heart from hurting due to the mean things people can say or do when we don’t fit in?

Remember that God is the only one we have to please!!

God Bless,

Crystal

Faith, Marriage, Other, Parenting

Fitting In

Fitting in is so much easier than not fitting in, right?  Peer pressure is hard to handle!  Young kids are not the only one who face peer pressure.  Unfortunately it never goes away, no matter your age.  That is depressing but there is hope.

hope

My husband and I try to teach our children that they don’t have to fit in to be loved.  That is much harder said than done.  Trust me, I know and that has been an issue I have (I would like to say “had” but I still struggle at times) to deal with each and every day.  I will say that since becoming a Christian it is easier because I know God has plans for me and they don’t always include fitting in with others or with the ways of the world.

As we address this topic with our children we have to remember to keep our heads and hearts in check and in line with the Gospel.  My devotion today was a perfect reminder.  Check it out here!  As my daughter struggles with making decisions that feel right in her heart versus what people will think of her decision this can be a comfort to her as well.  In the end it will not matter what others thought of us!!

Another topic I have talked about lately is Santa.  This kind of goes along with the following others and the fitting in issue if you really think about it.  We don’t want to be different but what about being different when we know it is right to be different?  That is tricky!  I have been battling with myself on this very topic.  I enjoy Santa and have since I was very young.  I see the excitement in my kids around Christmas when Santa is mentioned.  On the other hand there are things about Santa I don’t like.  I don’t think that he should only come if the kids are “good”.  I think too much emphasis is put on that aspect.  What child is going to be “good” all the time just because a big jolly guy will bring presents to them?  As parents are we really going to stop Santa from coming at the first sign of misbehavior?  Why do they only have to behave shortly before Christmas rolls around and not year-round?  This is nuts to me!!

Santa

Our children know the real reason behind Christmas and they will tell you it is not truly about Santa but about Jesus.  We talk about Jesus and his birth and why we celebrate Christmas in our house.  We also talk about Jesus, God, and share the Gospel year-round, not just in December.  I am pleased to hear my children praying and talking about God in their daily lives!!

A great friend of mine knew just what I needed and sent me a wonderful message and included a very well written blog post about another family that had the same Santa struggles as I.  Read about it here! I feel more at ease after talking with family and reading this post.  I think a little tweaking will make me feel more comfortable with this whole Santa thing.

So with all that said, we don’t have to fit in to be loved.  God loves us just as we are and he is pleased with our decision even if our “friends” are upset with our choices.  In the end, God is the one judging us not our peers!

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God Bless,

Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 28: Creating Traditions

 

Day 28 of 31 days of Consistency & Children

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I don’t know if you get into Halloween or not.  I used to get much more involved than I do these days.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Halloween and my kids love dressing up and going trick or treating!!

Haley Halloween
Haley as a baby/grandma??
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Haley and I goofing around!!
Kids Halloween
Lathen-Spider, Olivia-Witch, Blake-Batman
Me Halloween
We get to dress up at work so I went as a bee!

When my husband and I had only one child, we used to decorate the house and outside and I would get excited about carving pumpkins.

Carving pumpkins was a big tradition while I was growing up.  I think my dad liked it more than my sister and I did but nonetheless it did become a tradition.  I wanted the same for my family.  I even remember when our daughter was about two years old and my husband came home from being gone all week with a pumpkin that Haley could have fit into!  It was huge but it was the coolest thing!

As I got busier with more children and working full time outside of the home, the decorating part had slipped.  I wanted to decorate but the thought of digging everything out of the basement was daunting.  I didn’t seem to have the energy and then to think that I would have to turn around and pack it all up again, YUCK!!

The sad part is that I know my kids love decorating as they look forward to helping grandma decorate each year.  I really should just suck it up and do it.  Maybe next year:)  Halloween is already this week.

Don’t go hating on me yet!  We do stick to the carving pumpkins tradition and I do enjoy that.

Halloween 2014 Halloween 2012-Dad and Lathen

I will post more later.  Lathen is the only one who has carved a pumpkin yet.  The rest of the pumkins have already rotted:(  Dad will get more tonight so the rest of us can do our pumpkins!!

Creating traditions for your family to follow each year is important for the kids.  They will always have those memories to cherish and hopefully carry on with their families.  My husband and I have stuck with a lot of traditions that our families had over the years.  The issue we have faced is that my husband’s family and my family had variations to the same type of traditions.  It seems that both our families had similar thoughts or ideas passed down but with a little bit of a difference.  When we first started these traditions with our children we were not sure how to implement them but over the years we have agreed on our own ways of doing them!

We have traditions for Easter and Christmas as well as Halloween but these have changed over the past year or so in our family.  Easter and Christmas are not just holidays to me which is one reason I dislike the saying “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings”.  These holidays are based on Christian events and I want my children to know what Easter and Christmas REALLY stand for.  Last year we started doing things a little different.  Instead of the traditional things people do on these holidays we have changed it up a bit.  On each day and the days building up to Easter and Christmas we talk about what those days mean and read biblical books and right from the Bible.

On Easter we make a cool (and very yummy) treat called Resurrection Rolls.  I also purchased a cool Easter egg hunt idea from familychrisitian.com called Resurrection Eggs.  This follows the traditional egg hunt idea but inside each egg is a symbol.  There is a booklet to explain what each symbol represents.  The kids really enjoyed this last year.

Christmas presents are such a huge deal.  Society has taught kids that more is better or bigger is better.  WRONG!!!  I don’t want it to feel like a competition or that we have to buy just to give a gift.  That is not the message of Christmas.  Don’t get me wrong, we still get our kids presents.  But we only give them each three presents.  This represents the three wise men and the gifts they gave to baby Jesus.  Jesus got three gifts and our kids get three gifts.  They did not quam about it at all!!

Those are just some traditions we do and how we are changing them to fit our lifestyle.  I would love to hear what you do and how it works for your family.

God Bless, Crystal

Cleaning/Organization, Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 21: Designated Areas

Day 21 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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Since doing the 31 days challenge I have really been thinking about how my children need a lot of direction.

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They need to be given very strict boundaries and very clear directions in all their daily activities. When too many tasks are left for them to interpret things can go haywire very quickly!

My kids have a toy room and a bedroom and then I thought it would be nice if they had a spot in the living room for some of their toys but I have quickly changed my mind. It is funny how ideas change rapidly when a person is thinking about the issues that can arise from such ideas.

My living room turns into a disaster.

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The toy room has been hit by a massive tornado.

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Their rooms were demolished by a tidal wave in a matter of minutes!!

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Too many areas for them to “play” turns into more work for mom. I have changed my mind!!!

I completely revamped my living room.  NO more toys!  NO more books!  Not in my living room!

I have decided to get their toy room under control as well.  That room will be the only room for their toys and books.  They can have books in their rooms and maybe a few toys but the majority of the stuff will stay in the toy room.   My kids spend most of their time in the toy room anyway so why not keep that the designated room for toys!!

So the consistent part of this is that each and every night they will have to pick up the toy room and any other things that they have gotten out and put it back in its place.  I am sooooooo tired of picking up then turning around to pick up again.  This momma is not going to keep stressing about picking up because I am not going to pick up their stuff anymore.  My kids range from 3 to 15 which is more than old enough to be responsible for their own items.  If they are left out of place I will take it and they may not get it back.  I don’t want to sound mean but I have plenty of other tasks to do each day.

What do you all think?  Please tell me you have similar problems.  What have you done to create less stress for yourself?  Comment with your thoughts, ideas or suggestions!!

God Bless, Crystal

Faith, Other, Parenting

Day 20: On Fire for God

Day 20 of 31 Days of Consistency & Children

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I long for my kids to be on fire…on fire for God that is!!!

I pray that my kids have a strong passion for God and for spreading the Gospel message to others! I talked about relationships yesterday and the best, most important relationship is with our Lord!!

Jesus Christ has done more for us than any other friend could ever do.
He died for us!
He died for you.
He died for me.
He died to pay for our sins!
Do you know anyone else as awesome as that??

I didn’t think so!

I want my kids to be excited about that relationship. To have a soul on fire for Jesus. To have a soul on fire for the cause. Not any cause but THE cause.

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In February I was blessed to join our youth group at a Dare 2 Share event and it blew me away!! What an amazing, glorious, eye opening time I had!!!

dare 2 share

To see so many teens excited about their faith was probably one of the most astounding times of my life.

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I want to expose my children to Jesus as much as I can. One way is by attending Awana at our local chapel. I love the message Awana teaches and how they incorporate scripture. When my children walk around the house reciting scripture it makes me so happy!! I knew nothing about God growing up but wish I had so I love that my kids are learning much earlier in their lives!

I will continue to teach my kids about Jesus and what an amazing relationhip they can have with God. I will continue to Start a Fire in their hearts!!

God Bless, Crystal