24 March 2015

Speaking Spiritually: I Finally Found My Life Verse

If you've been following this blog, you know there have been a lot of changes in my life of late. We have been in the camper "full-time" for a month, and I think I'm finally settling in to somewhat of a routine. Our kitchen facilities have greatly diminished with this move, and one of my goals is to ramp those types of posts back up in the near future -- laying out alternatives and new ideas when faced with such a small space and few appliances.

The goal of lowering television viewing has been surprisingly simple to achieve, and I find I don't miss it much at all. I'm a sucker for sports, though. So I must admit March Madness has been in my recent purview. (Go Duke!) -- I'm proud to say I've increased my reading in lieu of tv.

Slowing down and taking in my surroundings has been a top priority, as well, and I'm happy with the progress there. (I'm sure to expound on that with other posts.)

That still lives priority numero uno: strengthening my walk with God. While I consider that to be a constant, ongoing goal, I wanted to take this specific time to put in some work. I have been more consistently reading my Bible and teachings in book form.

Are you familiar with the term "life verse"? Until fairly recently, I had never even heard this term. According to What Christians Want to Know, "a life verse is a verse from the Bible (or a small passage) that you choose to be your most favorite verse; it is the one that you commit to memory to share with others."

Well, I have a lot of favorite verses! Yet somehow I felt like I was lacking a life verse. "How can that be?" I briefly wondered. Then I put it out of my mind.

About a week ago, I downloaded Charles Stanley's Handle with Prayer: Unwrap the Source of God's Strength for Living. I'm on chapter 3, and was blown away from the start. (Partly, I'm sure, because my prayer life needs a huge makeover.)

I talk to God every day. All day. That part I have down. I'm confident God hears and answers my prayers. The area I feel in my soul needs improvement is listening. I know I receive guidance from the Holy Spirit, but it's highly doubtful I "get it" the first time around. Know what I mean?

The part of the journey I'm on now, for example. The idea of making a change and taking my life in a different direction has been on my heart for years. Yep, I said years. But I was likely listening to my own understanding so hard, I failed to hear God's perfect plan. The one that would have gotten me on the right, bright path sooner.

The title of the first chapter of Handle with Prayer is "Unveiling the Hidden". I want to know everything God has in store for me. Don't you want that for yourself? Well, that would require listening. Some patience and waiting. And listening.

To apply this more directly to my everyday life: I want to know how to use everything God put on this earth for good. What does that insect do to improve my life? How can that weed improve my health? How can I spread the word and widen the movement? How can I save the resources He provided for future generations?

Yes, there are resources (many! and good ones!) that I can use online and off to facilitate answers to a few of those questions. But the passionate, all-encompassing answers? I believe they come from Him. The one who knows all. The one who knows His plan better than any. The one who put those resources there in the first place!

And that's where I found my life verse. It's not just a new favorite verse. It's a verse that I will recite to myself constantly. Write it on the walls of my heart. I know where to go to get my questions answered.

So sayeth Jeremiah 33:3 --


Do you have a life verse? Share it! Do you remember how it came to be the one?

Shared at Making a Home - Homemaking Linky and Tuesdays with a Twist.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading and following Stephlin's Mountain.

18 March 2015

Light Your Entryway with Solar Power (Pimp Your Pop-Up #3)

OK. This one is short, sweet, simple -- and cheap! As in, less than $2 cheap.

Some campers have a "porch light" by the entryway, but mine does not. So I went to Wal-Mart and bought two solar lights at 97¢ a piece. Once we got home, I placed one on each side of our step into the camper and let the sun go to work. Each light comes attached to a stake, so putting them in the ground was a cinch.

Here they are.


An added bonus is you don't have to remember to flip a switch!


That's all for this series, at the moment. If we do any more improvements, I'll be sure to share. Feel free to comment with any camper upgrades you'd like to offer. I'd love some inspiration! :-)

15 March 2015

Sweeten the Sleep Space in Your Camper with Thermal Blackout Curtains (How to Pimp Your Pop-Up #2)

Too much light when trying to sleep. That's a conundrum. And it applies in my current situation of living full-time (albeit temporarily) in a RV. I cannot complain about our lot in the park. When the sun goes down, it's pretty difficult to see your hand in front of your face. But! My work schedule requires me to sleep some during the daylight hours. And the number of those hours increases with the coming of long summer days.

Just today, I took a nap from 2 - 3:30 p.m. in full 80° sun. No worries, though. I was in comfortably cool semi-darkness. (We were having highs in the fifties just a couple of days ago. Is this not the weirdest transition into spring ever?)

My solution? Thermal blackout curtains. To be more specific, a set of these solid thermal insulated blackout curtains in navy. Each panel is 84 inches long and 52 inches wide -- a perfect fit for each side of the queen-size bunk end of the camper.

Here's a before pic of one side:


And here are a couple with the thermal blackout curtains up. (Taken before the back was covered to compare and show how no light is getting through the curtain.)


Please forgive the mismatched pillows and such in this one! I won't be winning any prizes for interior decorating anytime soon.


The best thing about this idea is it's not permanent. We tucked one end of each panel behind the bunk end braces, and the other ends were simply clipped in place with 2 in. spring clamps like these, described as having "strong gripping, spring-action jaws".


I got the curtains at more than 50% off retail, and the clips I already had. Minimal expense for a sweeter sleep space!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading and following Stephlin's Mountain.

Shared at The {Not Just} Homemaking Party, the Making a Home - Homemaking Linky, Teach Me Tuesday, Tuesdays with a Twist, and some of these fine hops.

09 March 2015

We Got Blinds! (How to Pimp Your Pop-Up #1)

When we first got Destiny, I started scouring the 'net for ideas on little cheap improvements I could make to spiff her up a bit. But the first idea was all my own (though I'm certainly not the first to have it): I wanted to treat the "windows" with blinds.

I chose to leave the curtains up just for added insulation, though it's obviously quite minimal. They also provide a nice pop of color behind (or beside) the blinds. I could have opted for colored blinds, but, well, they cost more so I didn't.


I think the blinds made a nice, inexpensive upgrade. It's a cleaner look inside and out. I also have more control over the light coming in, as well as how much someone (from the outside) can see. The black screens are neat in that you cannot see in from the outside at an angle. With the blinds, we are controlling what can be seen straight on. (I hope that makes sense.)


B simply attached the blinds to the same rail that holds the curtains.  (And I helped!)


Cool, huh? Do you have any camper hacks to share?

Shared at Homemade Mondays, Monday Funday, and some of these fine hops.

05 March 2015

Slow and Deliberate

That's how I'm trying to live. Slow and Deliberate.

Truthfully, that's how I've wanted to live for quite some time. Years, in fact. And at times I thought I was doing a pretty good job. This downsizing decision which includes an eventual move and career change has thrust the fact that, no matter what I "thought", I have not been living that way. (Or at the very least have many more miles to go!)

We are only a couple weeks into our "full-time" camper living, and I can see changes within being implemented. I can also see where I need to improve.

While I don't think I'm the most graceful thing on the planet, I've never considered myself clumsy. Being in these close quarters, however, I've decided that I am a bull in a china shop! In order to not knock fourteen things hither and thither when opening the refrigerator, I should slow down and make only deliberate moves. Really. Seems like a no-brainer, I know. But I'm truly having to teach myself this (now) required skill. I'm happy with the progress made, but still find frustration gurgling to the surface whenever I have to contort my body to reach something in a tight space. Still, I'm confident better days are ahead for the deliberate part.

The main issue I need to overcome, in my self-diagnosing humble opinion, just requires a bit of an attitude adjustment. That's it. A simple undertaking for some. For me, it's much easier typed than done. The SLOW part is getting to me. Why can't I sloooow dooown? Sometimes it seems I am in a constant state of thinking concentrating on what "needs" to be done (as in, the future, whether it's 5 minutes, 5 days, or 5 years from now), instead of calmly (slowly) dealing with what is necessary at. the. moment. Right now. That, my friends, is an unbelievably difficult task for me.

On the rare occasions I am able to succeed at the concentrating on what is directly in front of me part, I find myself enjoying (or peacefully tolerating) even the most mundane or un-fun chores. I usually recognize when I've achieved the goal, too, by wondering why I'm unable to do it all the time!

My personal mission statement includes the phrase "to be present." Striving to be slow and deliberate will certainly help with that.

Have any tips for me? How do you slow down and be present for life?

Shared at The HomeAcre Hop and some of these fine hops.

28 February 2015

Phase Two Has Finally Begun

Our Quaint Little Spot
"Phase Two" is what I call it anyway. We are finally out of the apartment as of four days ago, and into the camper full-time.

In case you've forgotten (And I'm sure you have, since I haven't posted since last September!), we are working our plan to (1) move to the mountains, and (2) change careers.

This is just a brief post to let you know I'm back and will hopefully be posting regularly again soon. I've had so many thoughts recently I wanted to share, but held back due to the lack of time while trying to get through the holidays and purge and pack and clean and everything else that goes with moving.

A couple of things to throw out there in lieu of an in-depth post: First of all, I cannot believe (and am a wee bit ashamed) at all the unnecessary and (more importantly) unloved JUNK I carried in that 1,200 square foot apartment. I purged so-o much, yet still managed to fill a 10' x 15' x 8' storage space to. the. brim.

Second, I feel a bit guilty at the moment. Why? Because I am so very jealous of the folks around me in this RV park. Everyone (really. every. one.) has a bigger -- better? -- camper than us. I covet each one I lay eyes on! And what's maybe even worse, I get embarrassed when people look our way. I just know they are judging our worth by the size of our tiny camper.

Intellectually, I know that sentiment is flat silly. Most people likely aren't even giving us a second thought! Furthermore, I honestly believe I am smack in the middle of God's will for my life. So these feelings are not supposed to be within me, right? Yet here they are.

Have you ever had feelings of jealousy rise up within, even though you KNOW you are doing what is right for you?

Shared at Simple Saturday Blog Hop and some of these fine hops.

30 September 2014

Spice Sale at Olive Nation

I'm always on the lookout for high-quality ingredients at a fair price. And when I can get them cheaper than fair -- well -- outta my way, sister friend! (Heh, Heh. Don't worry, I won't run anybody over -- there's room for everyone to save.)

I use Olive Nation as my source for vanilla beans when making my alcohol-free homemade vanilla extract. Since they are having a spice sale (save 20% with coupon code SPICE20) through October 6th, I'm adding a couple of those to my list: cinnamon and five peppercorn mix.

The cinnamon at $3.85 for 6 oz. is a good price all on its own. With the sale, you can save 77¢. It has more flavor and a stronger smell than the grocery store stuff, to be sure. It would be delicious in recipes where cinnamon is a key ingredient, like Quick and Simple Cinnamon Bread and Spiced Zucchini Batter Bread.

That same coupon code (SPICE20) can also get you 20% off of dried chile peppers, sea salts, and seasoning mixes. And don't forget code FREESHIP for free shipping on orders over $50. You can't use it in conjunction with the SPICE20 code though, so use the one that gives you the best deal!


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click the link and buy something. This helps support my mountain homestead dream as well as my blogging activities, and the price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! :-) Thanks for reading and following Stephlin's Mountain.

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