Monday, April 3, 2017

Christmas Shopping In April....and every month in between


Here is the Item of the Month for your shoe box. Have you been following along and collecting your items?  Found any good deals?

Keep watching for more ways to......

Be Prepared To Bless!

Johnna

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Has Officially Sprung

Although here in Texas it never really felt like we had Winter this year, we did manage to somehow act as if we did. We wore our nice warm scarves, our high top boots and carried our dark colored purses. Now, finally,  we can honestly say it is Spring.

For those of us living or visiting here in the Lone Star State, that means Bluebonnets galore!! Oh how we love our state flower. We take road trips to the perfect areas to see them and we plant our babies in the middle of a patch for that oh so perfect photo op.

The word "Spring" is also sometimes followed by the not so pretty word "cleaning".  Nooo!   Yes! It's that time again.  Last year I wrote about a way to use this dreaded task to cheerfully Be Prepared To Bless in the future, so before you tackle your home this year please read my post Spring Has Sprung Part 1 from last year and as always.......

BE PREPARED TO BLESS!

Johnna

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Christmas Shopping in March...and every month in between


If you have been following along since my original post about Operation Christmas Child, you know that each month there are suggested items to purchase for your box.

This month is Quality Crafts. These items could include a beaded necklace, knitted gloves, no-sew scarf,  handmade purse, a hand carved whistle, felt finger puppets and the list goes on.

You don't need to be overly crafty to do this.  Search Pinterest for easy crafts and you will see there are thousands of things to make.

You can also read my suggestion posts for January  and February.

I hope these posts will encourage you to shop all year long for OCC.

I will be back next month for April's suggestion post. In the meantime, follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or subscribe to my blog for many other ideas and as always......

Be Prepared To Bless!

Johnna

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Women And Her Purse



Women love purses. We love carrying our STUFF around.  Stuff we probably won't need but we are prepared if we do. We have tissues, mirror, lipstick. hairbrush, pictures of our kids and money. Oh and more money when we clean our purses out. And there are those of us who carry around things we will most likely never need.

Now how many purses does one woman need! How many purses do you have that you haven't carried in quite a while and probably never will carry again?  Me?  Well, we'll skip over that. haha! We have purses for each season, however when each season rolls around do we go back to last years purse?  Probably not because there are new styles and we HAVE to have one, SO what happens to all of the last years purses?  Well, mine are hanging on a rack in the closet, packed away in boxes, piled on the bottom of the closet covered by, you got it, more purses.

But since this blog site is about blessing others, what can we do to bless someone with a purse? Someone who needs but doesn't have even a single purse. Well, we could always give them to the homeless filled with the usual "blessing bag" stuff such as bottled water, crackers, toothbrush/toothpaste, socks, deodorant, soap/washcloth etc., although this type of stuff can more easily fit into a backpack or even a 2 gallon ziploc bag.

How about women's/domestic violence shelter's?  How did these women get here and what does their future look like?  In most cases these ladies fled their homes with the clothes on their backs, many times with small children in tow. Once they are deemed safe, which sometimes takes a while,  most will need to pursue employment to once again regain independence and continue raising their families.

Gaining employment can be a daunting task for anyone, but imagine trying to do so without proper clothes and accessories.  Again, women want and need their purses. They need to appear as normal as possible.  No one wants to go in to an interview with "homeless" written on their faces. We want to dress for success and many times a purse will make a woman feel as if she is accomplishing this.

So, instead of letting those unused purses pile up, let's prepare them for someone who could truly benefit from them.  Let's convert these old purses into a functional accessory to be used.  Look in your own purse and see what is in there that you use regularly. I keep some sort of wallet to hold my various forms of identification and any cash I may have.  I also have tissues or wipes in case of allergies or even small spills. Reading glasses if needed.  A notepad and pen is always good to have to jot down addresses, phone numbers, appointment dates/times etc. A brush, mirror, lip color, hand lotion, nail clippers/file and breath mints to freshen up before an interview.

These are things most of us simply take for granted, but for a woman who has nothing they can mean a lot to their self esteem.

If you have unused purses, and most of us do, please give some thought to adding some of these items mentioned above to those purses and drop them off at a women's shelter.  I can promise you they will be a blessing to those who receive.

Now, consider taking time to clean out your closet and BE PREPARED TO BLESS!

Johnna



Be sure to sign up for my email list to ensure you don't miss any of my posts. There are SO many ways to bless others.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Christmas Shopping In February.....and every month in between



I began posting last year about Operation Christmas Child's shoe box ministry.  If you haven't read that post and don't know about OCC, check out my post here.

To make shopping more manageable and to help lighten the expense load at one time, OCC has created a monthly calendar to give us ideas for items to purchase during that month, thereby when the collection date rolls around in November we will have our purchases made and ready to pack. Visit my post for January to see their suggestions. Those items can be found an a fraction of the cost now.

For February they suggest accessories.  Children everywhere love to dress up in various ways. Of course little girls love jewelry and hair bows and boys love watches.  When you begin shopping these areas of your favorite store, you'll find there are many options to choose from.

I hope that shopping monthly will be an encouragement for you to participate in OCC. Christmas shopping can be costly, but if spread out over the year it is much more doable.

I will be back in March to share that month's suggestions with you but I would love for you to check back often or sign up with your email to see all of my post's about how you can,

BE PREPARED TO BLESS!

Johnna

Thursday, February 9, 2017

When Valentines Day Isn't About Being With The One You Love



Valentine's Day is quickly approaching. For many people, especially us ladies, it brings anticipation of all things chocolate, flowers, jewelry and romantic dinners. All of which bring along much fun, joy, laughter, gratification, and elegance. But sadly, not for all.

The Widow. Whether recently widowed or having spent many years alone, Valentine's brings back many sweet memories of years gone by.  Years when these ladies too felt the joy, laughter, fun and elegance which accompanied this day for them as well.

Those days as they remember them may be over, but the fun, laughter and joy certainly doesn't have to be. This year, try thinking of a widow you know. Maybe a family member, a neighbor or someone at church. It would be very easy to drop by their home with a box of candy, a single red rose in a vase, or a card.  If you know this person well enough, invite them out to lunch or dinner. These small gestures could turn sadness into happiness very quickly. No, it won't replace their beloved husband but it surely will bring a ray of sunlight to an otherwise cloudy day.

Try thinking ahead about this time next year. Maybe hosting a Widow's Banquet. Get others involved. Family, friends, Sunday school classes,  homeschool co-ops, or any other group you may be involved in.
Choose a location.  This could be at your home, an assisted living home, or a local banquet room.
Hand deliver invitations.
Plan a light menu with, of course, chocolate covered strawberries.
Dress in your Sunday best, young men with ties, shined shoes and a big smile.
Have music playing quietly in the background, be it live violin,(a chance for a beginner to get some experience) or a classical CD.
Set the table properly, even if you use disposable dinnerware. Clear plastic plates are very nice and you can even get "silver" colored flatware, disposable tablecloth and napkins and a pretty centerpiece. All from the dollar store!
Serve dinner in courses. Three would be plenty. Salad, main and dessert.
At the end of the banquet, present each lady with a flower.  These could be fresh,  imitation or even handmade from tissue paper.  Maybe make treat boxes or another token of remembrance for each lady to take home.
Also, think about transportation. Be prepared to have a few drivers to pick up and return home those who do not drive. Have valet parking for those who drive themselves.
Don't forget escort's.  These ladies deserve to be escorted to their tables on the arm of a finely dressed young man

All of these things can be done in a very elegant way without spending a lot of money and it is guaranteed to lift the spirits and bring a smile to all involved.

Not only will this make for an incredible time for the guest's, it will also offer a time of training for the young people involved. You'll need aspiring chef's, wait staff, interior decorators, event planners, graphic artists for the invitations and as already mentioned, musicians

Make this an annual event.  A time that will be anticipated each year by everyone involved.

So, this Valentine's, and all the one's that lay ahead, Be Prepared To Bless!

Johnna

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christmas Shopping In January.....and every month in-between!





Christmas has come and gone.  Normally this would be a time to take a break from shopping, however I find it much easier to shop all year long and not have to do it all at one time. Not only does that save on time spent in the stores but also spreads out the cost over time so it doesn't seem so overwhelming at once.

Operation Christmas Child has made a monthly calendar to help shopping.  Now of course their calendar is meant for shopping for the shoe boxes that they collect in November to be distributed all over the world but you could use this calendar for any of your Christmas shopping. This does make giving towards charity look more doable for many though.

I posted earlier this year about Operation Christmas Child.  If you haven't read that post you can read it here.

For January, they suggest purchasing scarves, gloves and knit caps. Even though it is still winter here in the United States, many retail stores begin stocking for Spring, and discounting Winter items greatly, making it all the more affordable to buy.

I do hope this helps you to consider packing a shoe box this year. Check back each month and I will be posting that months suggestions. Sign up with your email and each post will come straight to your inbox ensuring you don't miss out on that months OCC purchase suggestions or any of my posts.

Have you and your family ever packed a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child? Did you have a packing party with others? Let me know what you enjoyed most about your experience.

Be Prepared To Bless (and shop)

Johnna


Photo courtesy of Samaritan's Purse/Operation Christmas Child