How We Spend Our Lives {The Daily Planner Review}

How We Spend Our Lives

I love planners. I love them big or small, pretty or professional, detailed or plain.  Mostly, I love how they get me thinking about how I spend my days.  Because, as Annie Dillard has said, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

So, I was super-excited to review The Daily Planner designed by Sue Hooley, a wife married 23 years and a mom of six children ages 4-20.

2015_Daily_Planner_PicWhat makes this planner unique is that the layout specifically has a homemaker’s needs in mind. For example, it is rare that one day in the life of a stay-at-home mom will be the same as the next, and therefore not all her tasks will fit into the structured time-slots of more traditional planners.

Sectioned off into seven areas (yearly calendar, monthly calendar, weekly planner, tasks lists, projects, information, and shopping lists), it measures about 6” x 8.5” and easily fits into most handbags.

Features of The Daily Planner I especially like include:

Tabbed sections.  Each of the aforementioned sections have easy-to-thumb-through, rounded tabs making it a snap to flip from the year-at-a-glance area to the weekly schedule, etc. Also, within each section, there are pre-marked dotted lines that can be snipped to create even more accessibility to specific pages.

Year-at-a-glance pages. This planner has a page showing all the dates for both the current year and the following year as well as handy “dates to remember” sections for sketching in birthdays, anniversaries, or other special events.

Month-at-a-glance element.  Featured on two-page spreads, every month is laid out for viewing, and the date boxes are big enough to jot down short notes.

Weekly schedules. For every week of the year, there is a two-page spread of dated spaces for writing more detailed notes for each day.

Tasks lists.  Each of the weekly sections has a sizable, lined, blank space for daily tasks. Every mom knows that there are somethings that just don’t fit neatly into a daily schedule… things that might pop up.  This area is a great place to write details for those items.

Projects & Tasks tabs. There are two large, tabbed sections that include ample space for taking notes and jotting down ideas, for making lists and recording a-ha moments.  So many times, organizers fail in this area.  I love the amount of space for note-taking here!

Perforated shopping lists. This is brilliant!  There is a whole section with paper easily separated by perforations that are long and skinny — about 2” x 8” — perfect for keeping a running grocery list, tearing out, and slipping into a pocket.  Love this!

Bible verses. Each week focuses the attention around a different verse from Proverbs that specifically encourages a woman in her homemaking journey.

Price.  This planner is very affordable. At $13.99 each, it is comparable to planners available in big box stores.  And trust me when I say that after pouring over the planners in the big box stores, this organizer is a step above any you’ll find there for an equal price.

I’m excited to tell you that Sue Hooley is giving away TWO copies of The Daily Planner.  To enter, just follow the instructions below.

And if you’d like to purchase a planner (or two or three for friends!), here’s a great deal just for The Better Mom readers!

Happy planning!


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Messy Beautiful Love {giveaway}

Today my friend Darlene Schacht from Time Warp Wife is joining us. I absolutely love Darlene. She is such a genuine and true friend, seeking the Lord in all she does. I am thrilled she is sharing here today and giving away her brand new book, Messy Beautiful Love. In Messy Beautiful Love you will be captivated by her story and in awe of God’s grace and restoration in her marriage. ~Ruth Schwenk

Darlene writes:

“This earthly life is a battle,’ said Ma. ‘If it isn’t one thing to contend with, it’s another. It always has been so, and it always will be. The sooner you make up your mind to that, the better off you are, and more thankful for your pleasures.” –Laura Ingalls Wilder, Little Town on the Prairie p. 89-90

I think that a big part of the reason that so many people like myself have not only fallen in love with the Little House stories, but in particular the character of Caroline Ingalls was because of her gentleness and contentment. She’s an example to many. As a pioneer woman in the 1800s she struggled alongside her husband to make ends meet, and raise their five children. Not only did this woman make do with the little they had, she did it so gracefully.

Time and again they battled against the elements of nature, never knowing how their next crop would turn out, and when they did face trouble, she looked past it to thank God for their blessings.

Contentment requires us to trade personal and immediate gratification for a heightened sense of appreciation. That kind of faith can be difficult, but those who choose to “let go and let God,” possess a gem of great worth.

Are you a Caroline Ingalls, or a Negative Nellie? Do you tend to have more days than not when things get under your skin and you find yourself saying, “Why me?” We all know how it is; it seems like the minute that everything is going along great, it all starts falling apart.

Are you are Caroline Ingalls or a Negative Nellie?

And then there are other times when, like Job, you seem to have one trouble after another, and start to wonder if things will ever let up.

So how do we fix it? How can we make our world a better place so that we’ll be happy within it?

The answer is that we can’t and we shouldn’t expect to.

There will be days where you wake up on the wrong side of the bed and wish you could crawl back in. There will be people who disappoint you so badly that all you’re left with are the shattered pieces of your heart. There will be pain, there will be loss, and there will be tears. But God in His wisdom is good.

Joy comes from within, not without.

God is treating us as dear children, and like a true Father He disciplines us for our good. It’s never pleasant at the time, but with each trial we grow more disciplined. And we learn. The more that we take our focus off of the things of this world, we turn our hearts and our minds toward God.

When we run from our problems we don’t learn to solve them. But when we patiently trust God with our heart He leads us safely through to the other side. Not necessarily comfortably, but safely nonetheless.

I haven’t arrived yet. But then again none of us have. Marriage is a life-long journey that leads us to grow every step of the way. I’m still walking in faith, but my  focus is set on the Lord.

We can’t change the world around us completely, but we can change the way we relate to it so that while we’re riding the waves, we keep an even keel. All too often we have that reversed. We spend all of our energy focused on changing our surroundings so that we’ll feel better, happier, content, and relaxed–when the reality is that true long-lasting joy comes from within.

This article is an excerpt from Messy: Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht. Used with permission from Nelson Books © 2014.

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht
The Time-Warp Wife

Today I am soooo thrilled to introduce you to Darlene’s brand new book, Messy Beautiful Love!!

We are giving away two copies along with two beautiful journals!! You can enter to win in the rafflecopter below!


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If you want to grab a copy today you can click below:
Messy Beautiful Love: Hope and Redemption for Real-Life Marriages


Slowing the Rhythm of My Rush

slowtherushThis post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes” Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. 

I would venture to say that 99.9% of our community here is rushing.

We are rushing to get our child ready for school while desperately trying to figure out what said child did with the soccer cleats that are needed for practice tonight. Meanwhile, we scramble for any sort of edible item that we can call “breakfast” for ourself while trying to figure out how we can make our toddler’s diaper last just one more hour until we can get to the grocery store to buy more. All this, and probably more, while listening to the ding ding ding of the notifications on our phone from texts, calls and Facebook.

In all of our rushing, I fear we are missing out big time. Missing out on the moments God intends for us to delight in and learn from.

What has rushing stolen from you?

For me, rushing has caused me to miss some of those quiet and alone times when God is speaking to me. I have had to make an intentional effort to focus my time and mind daily on the Lord, to keep in step with the Spirit. Unrush me Lord. Unrush me.

For me, rushing has made me miss some of the moments as a mom that God has wanted me to revel in with my children. I have had to make an intentional effort to unrush my mind and unrush my daily life so that I can focus on four precious little faces that God has planted right in front of me. Unrush me Lord. Unrush me.

We have to slow the rhythm of rush in our lives so the best of who we are can emerge. ~Lysa Terkeurst

As I read that quote I lose my breath. I lose my breath because this busy mama knows that the only way for the best of who I am to pour out to my family and in my ministry here is to sloooow down. Make time for the moments that unrush my life. Not only do I need to unrush for the sake of God using the best of me in the places and people He has called me to now, but if I am not careful I can rush my way right out of hearing from God and following His lead.

In The Best Yes Lysa writes,

I asked the God of the universe to intersect my life with His revelation, then got up from my prayers and forgot to look. Forgot to seek Him. Forgot to keep my heart in tune with His voice and His invitation. 

All because of the chaotic rush of my day.

When all life feels like an urgent rush from one demand to another, we become forgetful. We forget simple things like where we put our car keys or that one crucial ingredient for dinner when we run into the grocery store. But even more disturbing, we forget God.

What has rushing stolen from you?

The Best Yes Logo

If you want to learn how to rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your Best Yes today, this book is for you. You will find yourself highlighting every page, nodding your head and audibly saying, uh-huh! “The Best Yes” is that good. You can grab a copy by clicking <HERE>!

I am thrilled to be giving away 5 copies today to our Better Mom community!

You can enter to win below!


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Homeschool Curriculum Funds Giveaway!! {$300 Paypal Cash}

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2nd Annual Last Minute Homeschool Curriculum Funds Giveaway

Hello friends! Welcome to the 2nd annual Last Minute Homeschool Curriculum Funds Giveaway! This year we are giving away $300 in Paypal cash divided up into two winners – each winner will receive $150 in PayPal cash to help purchase homeschool curriculum for their family. Last year we were able to bless three families with extra cash to buy curriculum. All three families had a financial need that only God could fulfill! It was an honor to fulfill the prayers of these families through the giveaway.

The Heart Behind This Annual Blessing

The Last Minute Homeschool Curriculum Funds Giveaway was created to bless homeschool families who are in need of financial assistance to purchase their homeschooling curriculum. The giveaway was birthed in the heart of Carlie Kercheval, founder of Managing Your Blessings & Today’s Frugal Mom, while praying for a friend who could not afford to buy her family’s curriculum due to the unexpected passing of her husband. It was from that moment on God placed a burning desire in her heart to begin to bless the homeschool community by providing funds for purchasing curriculum.

Giveaway Sponsors

Please take some time to stop by and visit each of these amazing sponsors! I couldn’t do this without them!

Today's Frugal Mom Curriculum Choice Homeschool Review Blog
Homeschooling On A Dime Daze of Adventure Blessed Beyond a Dobut
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Enter to Win!

  • This giveaway is open to U.S. residents with a Paypal account.
  • Giveaway runs from August 24 (midnight PT) – August 30 (11:59pm PT)
  • Two random winners will be chosen – each will receive a prize of $150 in Paypal cash

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