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31 Days Unplugged – Day 28 – Truly Fasting

27 Mar



Well, here we are heading into our last weekend of the 31 Days Unplugged challenge.  I hope that this month has been as meaningful for some of you as it has been for me.

As we head into the weekend, I am presenting you with your last challenge.


Challenge #22 – Spend the entire weekend (from sundown Friday to sundown Sunday) truly unplugged.  Don’t use social media, watch TV, or play any online or video games.  If there is any other aspect of unplugging that you would like to include in this weekend fast, I say go for it.

I am pretty nervous about this, honestly.

What if I get bored?  After the last couple of months of thinking of things to do with my time, I have plenty to do!

What if someone needs to get in touch with me and can’t?  Since limiting my use of social media for the past couple of months, not too many people use that to get in touch with me anymore.  And if someone really needs me, they can just call, right?



Let’s use this weekend to get closer to our real-life friends and family, to get closer to God, and to get closer to ourselves.

I won’t be posting over the weekend, but I will see you all back here Monday for our link-up.  Don’t forget that if you don’t have a blog to link-up, you can e-mail me your testimony at and I may post it during the month of April.

Have a great weekend!


31 Days Unplugged – Day 25 – Working for God’s Glory

24 Mar


If you know anything about me at all, you know that I am a stay-at-home-mom.  Since that is my life and it is what I know, that is the viewpoint with which I have approached this month of unplugging.  My sister pointed out to me that maybe I needed to keep people who work outside the home in mind, and then my Sunday school lesson last week directly addressed this problem, so I felt this post was meant to be!

According to Forbes, 64% of people spend time on non-work related websites while they are being paid to work.  That is almost unbelievable, isn’t it?

There are so many Bible verses that tell us that this is wrong:

Colossians 3:23 instructs is to “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

2 Thessalonians 3: 6-9 really lays it out for believers, saying “And now, dear brothers and sisters, we give you this command in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ: Stay away from all believers who live idle lives and don’t follow the tradition they received from us. For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you.  We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you.  We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.”

It is not right to waste our time at work, guys, for a couple of reasons. First, it is a bad example to unbelievers.  God has placed us in whatever position we are in at the moment for a specific reason, and we need to always be aware of that. We need to always work for God’s glory.

Secondly, when we are at work, we are being paid to work.  Even if you aren’t being held accountable to the person who is paying you, you will be held accountable by God.

Challenge #19 – When you are on the clock at work, do not look at any websites that are not work-related.  Don’t do any online shopping, return a Facebook message, or quickly check your Twitter feed.  

While I won’t be personally completing this challenge (since I obviously don’t work outside of the home) I know that this will be really difficult, especially if you are in the habit of spending a lot of time online at your job.  I know that you will find it beneficial in the end, though.

Let me know how it goes!


31 Days Unplugged – Day 18 – Unplugging Your Family

17 Mar


As I have spent less and less time plugged in this month, I have become much more aware of other people and how they are spending their time.  I am no longer satisfied sitting next to Jason with both of us glued to our cell phones.  That just doesn’t count as quality time, you know?

Something else I don’t like seeing is this:


Not that they aren’t the cutest things ever, but there are so many other things I would rather see them doing!

I have never been a fan of phones at the table, or the person riding next to me in the car scrolling through their newsfeed, but now I am aware of those things more than ever.  Honestly, I find it very rude.

Ecclesiastes 2:24 tells us, “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God.”

God gives us many pleasures in this life: our friends and family, our jobs, our churches, nature.  The list goes on and on!  Is your family taking advantage of these gifts from God, or are you allowing technology to rob you of those joys?

In this verse, King Solomon tells us that mealtimes in particular are meant to be a time of joy.  We need to take full advantage of those opportunities to sit around a table with our families, talk, laugh, and enjoy food and drink. Whether it’s a homemade meal or McDonald’s, in this busy, fast-paced world, God means for us to slow down and enjoy our meals together.

Challenge #14 – Today, I want you to pay attention to how your family uses technology.  Stop letting anyone use technology while a meal is taking place.  Use that time instead to talk, laugh, and find joy in each other!


31 Days Unplugged – Day 14 – Television

13 Mar


At this point, I am more unplugged that I ever thought I would be!  As a SAHM, I sometimes miss the human interaction that the Internet affords me, but I am happy that I am spending more time on things that matter.  My house seems more peaceful and I feel much less stressed out than before.

Today, we are taking it to an extreme.  I want you to think about how much television you and your family watch.  While doing some research for this post, I found some really interesting information.

Did you know that the average American spends up to 34 hours a week watching live TV?  That’s not counting movies and what we watch on the Internet.

One study found that for every hour spent watching TV, our life expectancy decreases by 22 minutes. (To put that into perspective, for every cigarette smoked, life expectancy supposedly decreases by 11 minutes.)* Can you believe that?!

There is tons of research out there that shows that we make unhealthy food choices while watching TV, and of course we get no physical exercise while we’re sitting on the couch.

If that doesn’t convince you, check out this article.  It has tons of really interesting info regarding the pitfalls of watching too much television.

So today’s challenge deals with the amount of time we spend in front of the TV.

Challenge #11-Keep a running tab of how much television you and your family watch today.  Just keep a post-it on the kitchen counter and make a note of times that the TV is on.  At the end of the day, look at how much time you spent in front of the TV, and make a plan to cut that time in half.  

If you’re anything like me, a trip to the library for tons more books is in order!


Heeeeere’s Goldy!

20 Mar

We have had a really great day at the Watkins’ house today.  It started out really rainy and dreary but turned out to be very beautiful.  We made it to Bible study this morning and had a great time and learned a lot, as usual.  Did you guys know that while Jesus’ body was in the tomb for three days after his crucifixion, he was actually going around doing things like talking to the demons in Hades?  I found that so interesting and am definitely going to look into that some more.

Also, we looked more into the actions of the disciples and the Mary’s after Jesus’ crucifixion.  The Mary’s were all up at his tomb with their embalming spices and were so upset that someone has stolen his body, when really he had been resurrected.  Even after spending so much time with Jesus, they still couldn’t grasp that he would and had risen from the dead!

After Bible study, I treated Charlie and Maddie to a special surprise.  We stopped by Pet Smart, and I would like to introduce you to the newest addition to our family, Goldy!

Charlie and Maddie each picked out a little decor for Goldy's new abode!

Charlie and Maddie each picked out a little decor for Goldy’s new abode!

Goldy is actually green, but we have been reading a book called “Goldy the Goldfish,” so that name stuck.  At first Charlie wanted to name him Power Ranger Fish, then Spiderman Fish, so I am happy with Goldy!

While Maddie was napping, Charlie and I made a bunny.  I found this project on Pinterest and it uses a toilet paper tube as the base, but I used a butter container because I didn’t feel like going through the recycling for a toilet paper tube!  So lazy!  Here’s the original link:  Here’s ours:

Our bunny.

Our bunny.

Then, we made Resurrection eggs.  Charlie was supposed to make some in his Bible study class this morning, but his teacher was sick so they didn’t do it.  They won’t meet again until after Easter, so I decided to go ahead and make some.  I found some instructions online at this wonderful site:  Guys, this was so easy to do and the Resurrection eggs have just been so wonderful.  You can make them with things you have around the house, and you can easily change any part of the story to make it easier for younger kids.  Charlie and I have been through them 3 times today, and he has learned so much already!

Our Resurrection eggs.

Our Resurrection eggs.

Charlie could hardly wait to start opening them up!

Charlie could hardly wait to start opening them up!

Grandpa brought some ice cream by.

Grandpa brought some ice cream by.

Opening up an egg.

Opening up an egg.

Never Underestimate the Older Generations

8 Mar

I work in the Insurance industry.  I’m an Agent for the Good Hands people.  I write auto, home, life, and business insurance.  When I write a Homeowner’s policy, Allstate will send out a property inspector to check out the house and make sure it’s in good shape and doesn’t need any repairs.  If it’s good, then we continue the policy.  But if there are any problems, they let us know, then we contact the customer.  The customer will usually make the repairs, we will go out and take pictures, submit then to the Property Department, then the policy is good to go!  Sometimes the customer won’t fix the problems and their policy will terminate, but that’s a whole other story.

So, I wrote a home policy for this very nice couple.  They are in their 50s, have 3 teenage girls, just a normal family.  Our property inspector went out to look at the property and they had a few issues.  The lady was very understanding and fixed the problems promptly.  So, I told her I would come out to take pictures and get everything taken care of so we could continue the policy.  Well, the day I was going to go out to her house, it ended up raining all day.  So, I called her and asked if she texted.  She said yes, so I asked if she could just text the pictures to me.  She agreed.  The next day she comes in my office.  I told her I never got the pictures.  She said she just sent them a second ago.  I said ok and we waited and waited, but I never got them.  So, I asked if she could email them to me.  She said yes, and did it as she sat there at my desk.  I never got the email.  So we sat there wondering how to get those pictures off of her phone and onto  mine or at least onto my computer somehow!  Then, she asks me if I Bluetooth.  Now, keep in mind, this is a woman almost the same age as my mom (no offense Mama) and my immediate reaction to her cell phone use is that she doesn’t really know how.  So, I turn on my Bluetooth and wait.  She says she doesn’t see me on her phone.  But, I had turned it on.  She asks me what kind of phone I have and I told her it was a HTC (she had an iphone.)  After I try for a good 5 minutes, she finally says “Julie, just give me your phone and let me do it.”  I, red-faced, hand her my phone and within 20 seconds, she has downloaded the pictures from her iphone onto my phone.  She hands my phone back to me and says “there.”  I was a little embarrassed that a lady 30 years older than me knew more about technology than I did, but happy I finally got the dern pictures after trying for 30 minutes!  Needless to say, I will never underestimate an older generation again!