5 Ways to Organize Thoughts

Life runs a mile a minute with things we need to do and places we need to go. Somewhere in between it all, our souls are growing and maturing as life passes. As hard as life can be at times we are molded and strengthen with??every bump on the road creating a better version of ourselves as we go. With all that life and growth bring, I have used different ways of processing and organizing my thoughts that range from very private to very public. Each of them are used differently, but also builds upon the other. I will share 5 ways to organize your thoughts to capture the growth that happens in you, find the gift in the daily process and use those gifts to love and serve others. The most intimate way to organize your thoughts is through journaling. I am a wannabe journaler and wish that I did it more. I journal most often during pressing times in my life. You know, when certain thoughts keep you up at night with a quickened heartbeat? Yeah, those times. My journaled thoughts consist of personal fears, life questions and desperate prayer. The benefit I get in journaling, even as occasionally as I do, is that as I write my thoughts to God, it calms me down to gain some peace in the midst of a storm. Later,??I get to peak back into a part of me that was once hurting and see how those thoughts affected my actions and where I am today. Since I know my own journey pretty well, I know how to connect the dots between entries. Journaling is a gift I use to grow. Notes are another good way keep thoughts organized. I use notes for short tidbits of thoughts and memories I want to capture. I have a running note on my phone I call Mateo Moments that consist of all those funny and memorable things my son says or does. My goal for doing this is for remembrance and for passing on. The thoughts organized in notes are not as private {or lengthy} as thoughts written in a journal. Sometimes I find an answered prayer in??my notes that overlaps my journaling. The benefit I get in note taking is that I can look back at those captured thoughts and reminisce on sweet times because I dont often journal the happy or funny moments of life. I laugh at the silly things my son says and it makes me love and appreciate him more, a great thing to look at when weve had a rough day. Notes are a gift I use to capture growth and love. Printed quotes are a great way to keep positive thoughts of affirmation within regular eyeshot in the home or office. I have a few scriptures displayed around my home for this very purpose. Most of those thoughts are a direct result of things I have learned from praying and journaling. They are the thoughts that fill my […]

{Gifts You Use} Back To School Survival Tips

I am happy to have Kacey from Next Level Mama here today to share some great tips for surviving back to school. With back to school now in full swing, these tips will help carry you through the rest of the school year {or at least until winter break}. Take it away, Kacey! Its hard to believe its been almost a month since my oldest child started kindergarten. As excited as I was for Samuel to start school, Im learning quickly that having a child in school is a lot of work..for the parents. Im already wondering how its going to be with all three kids in school, but thankfully were three years away from this happening. In the meantime, here are the school survival tips Ive picked up so far. Get on the Teachers Good Side Help your childs teacher out by donating a few extra school supplies for the class. You can either buy off your childs school supply list or check with the teacher to see what items he or she needs. Leave Extra Medicine with the School Nurse If your child takes medicine on a regular basis and the school allows it, you might consider leaving some with the school nurse. This way if your child has any medical issues, the nurse can respond to them immediately. Read School Folders and Notes Before Putting the Kids to Bed Nothing is worse than realizing your child was supposed to do homework the night before as youre packing everyone up to leave for school. Make it a habit to check their folders and school notes as soon as you get home. Ask Questions Your child may not talk much about school at first, but keep asking them questions about what they learned, their new friends, the teacher, etc. Before too long, youll find your child willingly telling you about the day. Prepare the Night Before It can be hard enough getting the kids out the bed. Take some stress out of your mornings by preparing lunches and picking out clothes the night before. Check Your Child’s Lunch Account A couple of friends wised me up to this one. If you use an online account to pay for your childs meals at school, check the account frequently. Its a good way to make sure your child isnt spending their money frivolously. Dont count on the school staff to do this for you. Label Everything Kids seem to have a knack for losing things. Not only that, but no matter how unique you think your childs backpack, lunchbox, pencil-case or whatever is, another student is bound to have the same thing. Im loving these Mabels Labels Write Away labels. Theyre perfect if you have multiple kids because you can write in your kids names as needed. Give Your Child Room to Grow Starting kindergarten means new learning opportunities and independence for you child. While it can be hard as a parent to let go, resist the urge to be the […]

Reference Zone for the Home Office

Our home office is great for keeping all my projects in order and filing paperwork. I find that we also get a lot of rotating information that comes our way, like monthly calendars from school or our community that is pertinent for only a short period of time. For this reason, I have created a reference zone in our home office to keep important rotating information at our fingertips when we need it and toss it when it becomes obsolete. What is kept in a reference zone? Typically a reference zone would be used to store periodicals like magazines and catalogs that can be referenced when information or inspiration is needed. This zone is essential for every home office because we all have mountains of rotating information flying at us constantly. Just take a look inside your mailbox, theres the newest magazine, coupons, invitations, newsletters and more.?? Ill show you ways to begin your own reference zone so you can keep all that paper in order. What houses rotating information in a reference zone? What you use to house your rotating information will vary depending on your space and the media that you have to store. Here is a look at some options to get your own reference zone started. For a smaller space, you can keep your rotating information in an accordion file similar to this one. If you dont have a spare accordion file handy, theres always the cheap and easy binder with folders. Typically a magazine file is used to store magazines and catalogs, and it is what I use in my home office. You can go big and fancy with it or you can go cheap and find cardboard files for as little as $1. As you can see in my reference zone above, I have combined both the heavier duty magazine files with a couple of fun cardboard magazine files I snagged at the dollar spot at Target. My tickler file for rotating information To meet our familys need to tame rotating information, I created a reference file to house all those calendars, newsletters and other time sensitive news in one designated spot, I will refer to it as a??tickler file. True to its name, you can tickle through papers that need to be referenced often and find it easily. A tickler file is best used for rotating information that is not needed for long-term filing. In my tickler file I used one of my cardboard magazine files and paired it with my favorite new office find. Martha Stewart came out with vertical file folders and I about jumped for joy when I saw them. Then I scratched my head when deciding what I would use them for. It didnt take long to realize the brilliance of vertical file folders in a magazine file to organize my tickler file. With some simple labels I can now keep all my monthly and seasonal information handy and out of sight when not in use.??I recommend using broadly […]