Frugal Fast Food Treat

Frugal Fast Food Treat -

Last Saturday Tim and I went to Jacksonville, Florida, to visit family. On the way there, we stopped at a Wendy’s for lunch. I love their chili and wanted to check out the Frosty deal I had read about on TrueCouponing.

“Buy a Frosty™ Key Tag for $1, and you can score a Jr. Frosty with each purchase all summer long just by showing your tag.” Wendy’s website

Frosty Key Tag -

The best part is all proceeds of the key tag benefit the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption®. So you’re benefitting a good cause while enjoying free Frostys all summer long with each purchase.

The Jr. Frosty is only about 8 ounces in size, which to me makes it a perfect-sized treat. (The chocolate Jr. Frosty is 200 calories, and the vanilla Jr. Frosty is 190 calories.)

You can always pair it with a healthy salad, their delicious chili, or french fries. French fries dipped in a Frosty were one of my favorite treats growing up : )

It was great to stick my toes in the Atlantic and hear the sound of the waves hitting the beach. (The Gulf is beautiful, but I have missed the sound of those Atlantic waves.)

Jacksonville Beach, Florida -

Wishing you a blessed Easter as you celebrate our risen Lord and Savior!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” 1 Peter 1:3

Rest in His presence.


The Simple Math of Forgiveness

The Simple Math of Forgiveness -

I had waited for this day, even setting a reminder on my phone for the Starz Free Movie Weekend. My plan was to record as many free movies as possible.

I quickly scanned through the movies on the schedule and began setting up my recording options. I recorded movies like Planes,* The Odd Life of Timothy Green,* and Monsters University.*

But then out of habit, my finger hit record on a movie I had avoided at Redbox because I knew it wouldn’t pass the Plugged In test for language, innuendo, and clothing or lack thereof. This was even the sequel to a movie my pastor had preached on in a message entitled Toxic Influences.

Later I did find the delete button just as easy to hit as the record button had been. But the condemning voices in my head that said “I would always struggle and fail with regard to my entertainment choices” plagued my thoughts.

3 Nails + 1 Cross = 4given -

Even after I asked for forgiveness and repented of my sin, my thoughts continued to condemn me. Those condemning thoughts were lies from the enemy because “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

My desire is to make Jesus Lord over area of my life, including entertainment. And even though I don’t want those words or images in my head, the truth is I will probably always need to lean on Jesus in this area of my life. But I will continue to lean on Him.

“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37

When I ask God for forgiveness but then don’t receive His forgiveness, I am saying what Jesus didn’t wasn’t enough. The price He paid at Calvary wasn’t enough to cover my sin, and that is pride. Jesus’ work on the cross is more than enough.

“… He [God] forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:13-14

Receive God’s forgiveness today and walk in the freedom Jesus died for you to have.

*Amazon affiliate link. Thank you for your support.

Rest in His presence.


Love & Respect – His Deepest Need

Love & Respect - His Deepest Need -

“… the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33

Welcome to Wifey Wednesday. This week we are continuing our series on the book Love & Respect* by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and are talking about our husbands’ deepest need. You can click here to see all of the Wifey Wednesday posts, including this Love & Respect series.

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs uses the term “unconditional respect” when referring to the respect husbands need. Just like God loves me when I’m unlovable, I need to respect Tim whether or not I feel he’s earned it.

When I first read this book about seven years ago, my marriage was a mess, and I looked at this book as a rope to pull us out of the slime and muck we had created. And finally on page 186 Dr. Emerson Eggerichs gave me words to say that could begin to turn our marriage around.

“‘I was thinking about you today and several things about you that I respect, and I just want you to know that I respect you.’”  - Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

But the key when I said these words was I needed to be prepared with an answer if Tim asked what I respected about him.

I set the book down and began to consider how I would answer Tim if he asked me what I respected about him. My mind went blank, so I slowly picked the book back up and continued reading.

“… look at his desires and not his performance.” “A wife must try to see what God sees.” – Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

I knew Tim’s heart was to be a good provider. In fact, there I was reading this book after school and not working to make ends meet. I appreciated how hard he worked so I could go back to school. And the more I thought about ways I respected him, the more I realized how much I did respect him.

“… let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]. Ephesians 5:33 (Amplified Bible)

I don’t remember how I answered my husband that night, but I do remember he did ask. And by then I could list with ease all of the things I respected about Tim and still do : )

Her Respect → Motivates → His Love → Motivates → Her Respect

A wife will be blessed when her husband feels respected. -

A wife will be blessed when her husband feels respected.

Linked to Wifey Wednesday.

*Amazon affiliate link. Thank you for your support.

Rest in His presence.


Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of God – Loved

Seeing Ourselves through the Eyes of God

This year we are looking to the Word of God to uncover truths (50 in all) of how God sees each one of us. If this is your first time here or you simply need a reminder of how God sees you, click here to begin reading through the series.

Seeing Ourselves as Loved Through the Eyes of God

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

“Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” Those familiar words, from one of the most beloved Sunday school songs, reminds us we are loved, and we can find that truth in the Word of God.

  • ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion …’ (Numbers 14:18a)
  • the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. (Psalm 32:10b)
  • love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. (Proverbs 8:17)
  • For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
  • This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.                  (1 John 3:16a)

Because of God’s great love for us, He showed us how much He loves us by giving us His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to save us – to save you and me. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice needed so we could be reconciled to our Heavenly Father.

God didn’t wait for us to love Him before He loved us. He didn’t wait for us to get our act together or come up with the perfect plan. He loved us while we were still sinners.

“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” John 4:16

Study God’s Word so you can be someone who says “I know how much God loves me.” And then allow the power of God’s love for you to transforms you as He abides in you.

Out of the overflowing love God has shown you love others. “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34b)

The cross reminds me of God’s love for me.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me while I was still a sinner. When I see a cross, let it remind me of how much You love me. Help me to receive Your love and love others as You have loved me. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

“But God demonstrates His own love for me in this: While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me.” Romans 5:8 (personalized)

Rest in His presence.


Philippians 1:6 – Messy Middle

Philippians 1:6 - Messy Middle -

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

I love rearranging furniture. Once I get an idea for a new room arrangement in my head, I will dream and measure for days and sometimes weeks as I consider my plan.

Then I jump in. Barely clearing the floor and removing a few breakables, I start moving furniture from one side of the room to the other.

Because I don’t clear my shelves or remove drawers before I start the moving process, I have developed the fine art of moving heavy items by lying on my back and using my legs to propel the items forward.

At first Daisy joins me in the commotion and sniffs every new spot as its cleared. But it doesn’t take long until I reach the messy middle where furniture is everywhere and bookshelves sway with each push forward.

When I reach that messy middle, Daisy retreats to another room where safety is guaranteed.

I understand Daisy’s desire for safety. The middle can get very messy – the betrayal you think you’ll never get past, the project that seems unending, the treatments that don’t seem to make a difference.

Whatever your messy middle is, I encourage you with the words of Paul “that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

  • God is the one who is doing the work in you.
  • What God starts He will finish.
  • Unlike me who jumps right in, God plans out every detail (no swaying bookcases).

The idea of retreating to a safer place when you reach that messy middle might seem like a safer choice, a way to protect yourself from disappointment. But it is in that messy middle that you need to grab hold of God and trust Him to carry you through to the end.

Messy Middle -

When you reach the messy middle, grab hold of God who is faithful.

After each piece of furniture is in its new home, I usually stand amazed and wonder why I didn’t try this new arrangement sooner. But I would never get to that place unless I held on and saw it through.

The good work God is doing in and through you is so much better than a rearranged room. It’s a life changed by Him.

Rest in His presence.


How To Save Money On Groceries Without Using Coupons – Plus 1 More

Imagine saving money at the grocery store each and every week without using coupons. No printing, no clipping, and no sorting coupons but still saving money.

How To Save Money On Groceries Without Using Coupons

For today’s Frugal Friday tip, I’m going to share how I save money at the grocery store without using coupons. And the best part is it doesn’t take any additional time to enjoy the savings.

Each week I do my primary shopping at Aldi. Yes, Aldi. Since making Aldi my primary grocery store, I have increased my savings each week on the healthy foods I love to buy.

According to a recent article in Business Insider, “the German grocery chain Aldi has the cheapest prices compared to Wal-Mart and Kroger, according to a new study.” But I didn’t need Business Insider to tell me about the savings, I was seeing the savings each and every week.

How Aldi Keeps Their Prices Low:

  • Limited inventory – There’s usually one size and one brand to choose from, and it’s often an Aldi exclusive brand.
  • There’s a refundable 25-cent deposit for using a shopping cart.
  • Groceries must be self-bagged with bags brought from home, or you can purchase reusable bags at the register.
  • The stores itself are smaller and have limited hours.

Each week I do my main shopping at Aldi. Then, with coupons in hand, I go to CVS and Publix for their very best deals and any additional grocery items I need. (For example, Aldi considers yeast a seasonal item and only carries it in the fall, and I need yeast to make my Homemade White or Wheat Bread.)

Some items I save money on by purchasing at Aldi: Bananas $.44/pound vs $.69 at Publix; Milk $2.99/gallon vs $3.79 at Publix; and Cheese $2 for 8 ounces vs $3 at Publix.

I’ve really enjoyed my switch to Aldi and love all their fresh produce, and we’ve been pretty happy with the Aldi brands we have tried. Click here to find the Aldi store closest to you and see if you don’t start saving money on groceries without using coupons : )

Celebrating Birthdays

On Sunday we celebrated Daisy’s 14th birthday, and then on Wednesday we celebrated Tim’s birthday – two birthdays in one week makes for a lot of happy celebrations : )

Rest in His presence.


I Walk For Life

I Walk For Life -

On May 10th I will be Walking For Life as we declare Life Is Beautiful. The Walk For Life is a 2-mile, family fun, celebration of Life.

The Walk For Life is done to raise support for the Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County and New Life Solutions. The Pregnancy Center empowers women and families to make healthy life decisions through education, life coaching, discipleship, and provides resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual support.

Since 1985 New Life Solutions has positively impacted the lives of nearly 150,000 men, women, teens, and families through their family of ministries.

  • More2Life Educators have spoken to over 96,000 students in public, private, and Christian schools helping prevent teen pregnancies and STDs.
  • Client Services has ministered to more than 40,000 women and teens resulting in over 3,200 salvations and rededication’s and 3,400 babies saved from abortion. This year alone 365 babies’ lives were saved!
  • Passages is a post-abortion support group and recovery Bible study set in an environment that is non-judgemental and compassionate where women can begin their healing process.
  • Shepherd’s Village is a Christ-centered residential ministry for struggling single parent families seeking an opportunity to build a healthy, stable family environment as they journey from crisis to self sustainability.

This is my fourth year participating in this event and my third year as a walker. I am so excited to be a part of what God is doing through this ministry to impact lives and future generations.

Click here to go to my fundraising page if you would like to join me in declaring Life Is Beautiful!

Rest in His presence.


Love & Respect – Energizing Her

“What do you want from me?” This was the question my husband would ask, and my answer was simply to love me, which would only make him even more frustrated.

Tim said he loved me, but I didn’t always feel loved by him.

Love & Respect - Energizing Her via

Welcome to Wifey Wednesday. This week we are continuing our series on the book Love & Respect* by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and are talking about Energizing Her. You can click here to see all of the Wifey Wednesday posts, including this Love & Respect series.

The Energizing Cycle: His Love –> Motivates –> Her Respect –> Motivates –> His Love

“The Energizing Cycle is proactive. It is positive. And it is preventative. Stay on the Energizing Cycle and the Crazy Cycle will not spin.” – Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

I think knowing ourselves as women and being able to articulate our needs to our husbands is a key to communication in marriage. Then we can answer our husbands when they ask, “What do you want from me?”

Dr. Emerson Eggerichs says wives need connectivity and uses the acronym C-O-U-P-L-E to illustrate how husbands spell love to their wives. The following are chapter titles along with my thoughts.

CLOSENESS – She Wants You To Be Close

  • “… when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go …” (Song of Songs 3:4). We need to feel close to our husbands physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

OPENNESS – She Wants You To Open Up To Her

  • Have you ever known something was bothering your husband, but he wouldn’t share his concerns with you? I’m sure we’ve all been there a time or two. We so want them share their hearts with us.

UNDERSTANDING – Don’t Try To Fix Her; Just Listen

  • I’ve learned to start some of my conversations with “I just want you to listen and not try to fix anything” for those times when I just need a listening ear.

PEACEMAKING – She Wants You To Say, “I’m Sorry”

  • “If you are angry with your wife, even for ‘a brief moment,’ she is ‘grieved in spirit’ and ‘rejected,’ and needs reassurance that you lover her (Isaiah 54:5-8).” Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

LOYALTY – She Needs To Know You’re Committed

  • “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure …” (Hebrews 13:4). We need to know it’s us against the world because sometimes it feels like it is.

ESTEEM – She Wants You To Honor And Cherish Her

  • “Respect, honor, and esteem are not qualities in and of themselves for your wife; they are components of the love she wants from you.” Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

This is only a brief summary of what speaks love to wives because I am a woman writing for women. But over the next six weeks we will go more in-depth of what speaks respect to husbands as we go through C-H-A-I-R-S. See you then!

Linked to Wifey Wednesday and Titus 2sdays.

*Amazon affiliate link. Thank you for your support : )

Rest in His presence.


Seeing Ourselves Through the Eyes of God – Belonging

Seeing Ourselves through the Eyes of God

This year we are looking to the Word of God to uncover truths (50 in all) of how God sees each one of us. If this is your first time here or you simply need a reminder of how God sees you, click here to begin reading through the series.

Seeing Ourselves as Belonging Through the Eyes of God

“I belong to my beloved, and his desire is for me.” Song of Songs 7:10

Standing at the entrance, the gymnasium was filled with decorated tables and women telling stories and laughing. I scanned the faces for someone I knew … or at least a table with room for one more.

Deep in conversation the women talked amongst themselves, and I received barely a passing glance. Those that looked my way smiled, but their tables were already filled with friends.

I wondered if I should have even bought a ticket for this party. I doubted if there was anyone else there without a friend by her side.

Then from the back of the room, a friend called out, “Crystal, come join us. We’ve been waiting for you.”

 “Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit …” Malachi 2:15a

Do you hear the voice of the One who calls your name? God’s Word says you belong to Him (Mark 9:41) and are members of His body (Colossians 3:15).

We don’t need to stand on the stand lines wondering if there’s room at His table. He has prepared a place just for us (John 14:2) and calls us His own.

My friends had saved a seat for me, and soon we were laughing and sharing stories too. But when we saw another face searching for a place of belonging, we welcomed her in and called her our friend.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for calling me Your own. Help me to walk in the truth that I am Yours and don’t have to feel left out. You are mine, and I love You. In Jesus’ precious Name, Amen.

Belonging to God means He is always by my side.

“I belong to my Beloved, and His desire is for me.” Song of Songs 7:10

Rest in His presence.


Psalm 73:23 – Never Alone

Psalm 73:23 - Never Alone via

“Yet I am always with you; you [God] hold me by my right hand.”           Psalm 73:23

With my husband out of town for a work training, the house feels empty and somehow quieter without his presence. But between Lorito‘s squawking and Daisy‘s snoring, it’s never truly quiet in my home ; )

Instead of Tim’s arms around me as I tried to fall asleep last night, I turned my robe around and wore it backwards for warmth. It was a poor substitute.

For me nights are the loneliness, but those feeling of being all alone can plague us even when surrounded by people. I’m reminded of the opening lyrics of a famous song written by Harry Nillson.

“One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.
Two can be as bad as one.
It’s the loneliest number since the number one.”

Have you ever felt all alone? Or like no one understands?

I’m sure we have all experienced those feelings of loneliness or of not being understood or even worse misunderstood at different times in our life. When those feelings hit, we need to encourage ourselves like Asaph did. He not only declares God is with him, Asaph reminds himself he is with God.

“It wasn’t enough for Asaph to know and to say that God was with him; he also had to confess that he was with God.” – David Guzik

I know it may sound silly, but when I need to remind myself God is with me, I squeeze my right hand. It’s a symbolic gesture of holding tightly to God’s hand.

“But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” Psalm 73:28

Let us join with Asaph in declaring “it is good to be near God” as we continue to make the Sovereign Lord our refuge and hold tightly to Him.

Rest in His presence.