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it only happens once a year! {giveaway day!!}

living well square Y'all, I can't believe that we are wrapping up our Living Well series. Have you enjoyed it?

I hope you have learned that living well is a lifestyle that begins with baby-step choices. For me, living well begins each and every day. I hope that over the last three weeks, you've gained some encouragement on how to take baby steps to bring wellness into your life through your mind, body, and soul. Remember that living well is not about comparison but it is a gradual effort to be wholly you.

Before you go, I'd like to share some information that I truly believe can help us live well in our faith, homes, and marriages. It's the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and it's only available for three more days. I've been a fan of the bundle for years so now I'd like to offer this incredible package to you, my reader. 

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle helps you:

  • Build a budget that works
  • Serve easier, tastier meals in less time
  • Soothe aches and pains with natural remedies
  • Find peace, balance, and joy in mothering
  • Create a healthy-toxin free home
  • Homeschool with grace and ease
  • Heat up your marriage
  • And much more!

Consider this a complete library that you can easily access whenever you want to live well. Y'all, there are 99 homemaking e-books and e-courses in this package. Ninety-nine! And, it's only $29.97.

Also, to make the deal even sweeter, I'd like to offer some free home design services from my incredibly-talented husband.


Raleigh is a very gifted architect who has completely transformed an outdated house into a home for our family. We've shared our renovation story through The Architect series and today we'd like to help you create a home that you love.

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Raleigh is offering a FREE 30 Minute Architectural Design Consultation to our readers.

In this consultation, he can help you:

  • Pick out paint colors that compliment your home
  • Make changes to your existing floorplan to create a more open space
  • Advise you on how to select the best flooring or countertop for your space
  • Help you create storage that functions well
  • Answer any questions you might have about the remodeling process

Giveaway entry is super easy. Purchase your Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and leave a comment on this blog post. Winner will be drawn when the bundle sale is over in three days. So go! If you haven't already dashed over to get your bundle at this incredible deal, you can learn more about the bundle from my friends Stephanie and Erin. If I didn't believe that Ultimate Homemaking Bundle can help you live well, I wouldn't be sharing it with you. Let this be the baby-step choice you make today. Learn more about this incredible offer.

Remember, sale ends in three days! Here's to Living Well, friends.




the purpose of life {living well}

The blaring of the alarm begged me to get out of bed. But, I didn't want to. The night before was still too fresh and I wanted nothing more than to stay under my covers and not start the day. I knew that once I was up, I had to face all of the day's challenges. Staying in bed seemed like the better choice for me to do. I hit snooze and try to drift back to sleep but my mind was already spinning, re-living the drama of the night before. The tantrum I threw at my husband when I didn't get what I wanted. The tears and sobs that soon followed. The feeling of being all alone, even though he was in the other room. All the stress that had been building inside of me had exploded and once again I was questioning what to do with my life.

Hadn't we been through this already? Like a million and one times? Me, wanting assurance and answers and him the punching bag? He's listened to the same questions over and over and over. But, with every fork in the road, I keep asking, doubtful and scared:

Am I living my life on purpose?

As my breathing slowly turned from shaky, short gasps into a steady rhythm, he asked me what exactly was my definition of purpose.

"Didn't he know this already?" I irritably thought to myself.

But, then I really thought about what he was asking. I knew in the deepest marrows of my bones that I wanted to follow God with my life and to get to heaven one day and hear him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." However, this has caused the great question to continue to surface again and again and again, "What does God want me to do and am I doing it?"

While examining the root of my anxiety, I realized something that had been building in me over the past year:

What I do for God will always change but how I love is timeless.
what I do for God
what I do for God

My work, my lot in life will keep me busy each and every day but how I love will steady my soul.

I think back to the chapter I read earlier in the week from Ecclesiastes. The author is asking himself a similar question, I think, and his answer is, "Everything in life is meaningless."

"Oh, that's great", I thought to myself. But, after several verses of saying what is meaningless in life - fortune, wisdom, pleasures, work - he concludes with this statement,

"Nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun" (Eccl. 8-15 NIV).

At first, I think he's just having a bad day and needs to find the Jimmy Buffet Pandora station so he can sing, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere." But, the more times I read this book, the more I understand what he is truly saying:It's not what you do but it's how you live.

I think that living a life of purpose is not about accomplishing this One Important Thing but it's about loving God, loving myself, and loving others through the course of a lifetime.

When I was twenty-five, loving God was asking himself to use me one day when I was in the shower. At twenty-nine, loving myself was believing that my body could birth another baby. Just this past year, I chose to love others by dedicating countless hours to a women's conference at my church. And almost twelve years ago, my seventeen year old self who was just getting over her heart being broken said yes to a boy who seemed kind and strong at the very same time.

My purpose is not about my performance, my ambition, or finally getting to a place where I've accomplished this great achievement.

the purpose of life
the purpose of life

My purpose is about looking into his eyes through my tears and saying, "Yes, I will always love you."  It's getting out of bed and pouring another bowl of Lucky Charms for my girls and holding Ridley just a little bit longer than what is necessary. A life of purpose begins with a daily choice to love.

My alarm rings again. Even with my worry and my fears and my doubts, I get out of bed. I shuffle into the kitchen and turn the bright light on as I cook my eggs and pour myself a glass of orange juice. Then, for a moment, before the sun peeks around the neighbor's fence, I sit down to read the true meaning of life: love God, love others, love myself.

This my friends, is our purpose.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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how to find balance & peace at home {family fun friday}

My friend Monica over at Happy and Blessed Home asked me to join her as a co-host for Family Fun Friday to share six inspiring words of encouragement from other bloggers each week. This week's Family Fun Friday is about finding balance and peace at home.   Hope you enjoy! If you're a blogger, be sure to scroll down to the bottom to link up your favorite posts! I'd love to feature your words of encouragement next week!


Laura Sue Shaw shares this week on how to create a habit of contentment. One of her tips is to not compare yourself which is something I always struggle with. Check it out!

Deanna at From This Kitchen Table has twelve steps to enjoy parenting littles when the days are long (one of her steps involves chocoate!). Amen, sister!

Wynter at Made to Mother features a post by Corinne this week on striking a balance between technology and life. She shares some good tips on when to turn off the phone and things to do with the kids instead.

Lori Lane from The End in Mind shares strategies for creating family unity. She says that to build unity in your home, everyone must feel like they are being heard.

Have you ever wondered if you are a gracious wife? Michelle at The Gracious Wife shares what a gracious wife is and what she is not. It's a nice reminder for wives!

My sweet friend Kayse is speaking to my heart with her post, "For the Moms that Want to Finish Well." I love her honesty and also how she listened to the wisdom of another generation.


Family Fun Friday is all about connecting as a family. We feature great ideas for family fun, and things to help moms get things done so they have more time to spend doing what they love to do - be with family! If you like Family Fun Friday, help this blog party grow by giving it a +1 on Google+. Thanks so much!

Were you featured? Grab the Family Fun Friday button below!



Meet our Family Fun Friday hostesses:

Monica H&BHnewlogo2013
Monica created Family Fun Friday and blogs at where she shares free preschool tools and printables, encouraging words for moms, and ideas for having fun together as a family. Follow: Blog / Facebook / Pinterest / Twitter /Google + / Bloglovin'/ Instagram. Monica will feature Family Fun Posts.britta profile                           britta logoBritta was a military kid and is a military wife, now living in the high desert of Arizona and far, far from her New Orleans family. She happily homeschools and writes about the intersection of God’s Word and her world at Britta Lafont ~ Everyday Holiness. This year Britta wants to find that sweet spot between getting more done and enjoying the process. Britta will feature Delicious Recipes. Follow: Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram
Christen blogs at illuminate. As wife to her high school sweetheart and mother to three premature children, she’s learned that God is the Perfect Party Planner and sometimes the unexpected is the greatest gift of all. Blog/ Facebook/ Pinterest/ Instagram/ Twitter. Christen will feature Inspirational Posts.
Selena-headshot_zps34ee5bae-1 Look Were Learning Logo
Selena is a homeschooling graduate and a homeschooling mom to four super special kids. She blogs at Look! We're Learning! about unit studies, foreign language, and homeschooling with ADHD. Follow: Blog / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram / Twitter. Selena will feature Homeschooling.
1463182_10201254448749001_1981766402_n 400-Gym_Craft_Laundry01-1
Herchel enjoys blogging about parenting, organizing, crafting, and having good old-fashioned kid fun her blog Gym, Craft, Laundry. Follow: Blog / Facebook / Pinterest / Twitter /Google +. Herchel will feature organizing and family fun.

If you enjoy the features on Family Fun Friday please leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you! If you see things that you like here - please PIN them on Pinterest! If you PIN these lists it will help this blogging party grow. To PIN a specific blogger's post please click through and pin directly from their site.

If you link up, you permit Family Fun Fridays to use your pictures/ideas as part of future posts and/or social media. Now on to some fabulous posts for moms.

Join us at Family Fun Friday!

Featured Bloggers

Britta is sharing some Easter ready recipes. So cute!


Selena is sharing some easy spring crafts this week for kids. I'd love to try a few of these while my girls are on Spring Break!


Have fun this Friday y'all!

Till next time, let your light shine! Blessings, christen