My Challenge to You in 2015: Pick One Word

One Word 2015 Challenge

Usually at this point in time, I’ve put up my list of goals on the blog for the new year.

But not this year.

In 2014, I tried a new-to-me experiment.  I picked ONE WORD…but I still set quite a few goals for myself.  In 2015, I’m just picking ONE WORD.  What I’ve learned about myself over the past 12 months is that I need to listen and be in God’s presence more than I need to make tons of goals for myself.  I have this tendency to rush ahead and attempt to fix things myself–always thinking if I just have enough will-power and self-control or if I just accomplish everything on my list, I will somehow have arrived.

Mike Ashcraft

Now…I’m not saying goals are bad or you shouldn’t have goals!  I’m just realizing my tendency to seek achievement over being, and I desperately need to follow the Spirit instead of my goals and to-do lists. If I’m prompted to write down a goal, then I will, but I’m just not making goal-setting my focus this new year.  Instead, I’m seeking to listen and follow wherever God leads.

This year, I want to challenge you to choose ONE WORD for 2015.  How many resolutions have you made over the past years?  How many of them can you remember?  How many did you stick with?  I truly believe if you choose one word for the year, think about it, and filter your experiences through it, you will be changed and remember the word for years to come.  Words are powerful and focus is powerful.  Choosing to focus on just one word is just plain powerful!

If you haven’t ever tried the One Word experiment, here are a few steps to get you going (I highly recommend checking out My One Word to walk you through the process more completely):

1)  Choose Your Word

Grab a journal or some paper and begin to write down some words that are meaningful to you or that God is speaking to your heart.  Sit with those words.    Define the words.  Use a concordance and find Scriptures related to those words.  Pray over those words.  Begin to narrow down your list.

You may know right away what your word is–but it may take a few days or even a few weeks to choose it.

2)  Remember Your Word

Once you’ve chosen your word, you need to find a way to remember it!  Write it on notecards and post them around your house.  Be artistic and design a canvas with your word.  Add it to your social media profiles.  Put it on your computer screen.  Set a reminder for it to pop-up daily on your phone.  There are tons of ways to keep the word in front of you, so pick a few and get started!

3)  Listen…and Obey

When you first choose your word, you may have a pretty good plan for how you think the word is going to apply in your life this year.  Be aware!  The words we choose can often morph meaning.  For example, I chose the word AWAKE in 2014.  I had a pretty good idea what I thought that meant for me, but by the end of the year, I realized that God was using the word to make me aware of my tendency to “zone out” on media and not be fully AWAKE and present with my family.  Your word may make you uncomfortable or it may show you some areas that God wants to transform.  Don’t run or give up on your word–let it set with you for a whole year.

4)  Journal Your Journey

Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, I highly recommend choosing a journal and documenting your journey.  Write down your experiences…write down your thoughts…write down your hopes…just write!  I have found writing to help me process and learn things about myself, my family, and God that I would have missed.  It doesn’t have to be extensive or take a ton of time.

5)  Invite Others on Your Journey

Share your ONE WORD with others this year and invite them to try it, too.  Imagine if everyone in your family or circle of friends or church did this! It would be a great way to find out how someone else is doing and what’s going on with them.

How about it?  Could you do it?  Are you in?  Have you ever tried this before?

I’ll share my word in the next few days over at


2015 Home Management Binder Printables + How to Put Together Your Own Homemaking Binder

Current email subscribers: Be sure to check your email because I sent out the link for the new 2015 Home Management Binder printables at 2:15 PM CT. These will only be available free through January 31, 2015, so be sure to download these right away if you want them!

Free-Home-Management-Binder-Printables 2015

Quite a few years ago, I began putting together a home management binder.   It’s actually super simple compared to the more elaborate chore and life planners I’ve seen, but I thought I’d give you a quick tour.  I also have some free home management binder printables for 2015 available for you through January 31, 2015!  Scroll down to the bottom of the post to find out more.

Putting Together A Home Management Binder:

Home Management Binder Printables for 2015 (2)

First, I found a pretty zippered binder that I love.  If I have to look at it every single day, I want it to be somewhat cute!  Right at the beginning of the binder is my mission statement–I want to live life with purpose and focus. It’s easy to get side-tracked, so I put it right at the front of the binder so I will see it every day and remember what I want to be about. This sheet is the only one that is editable.  You can add your family name and your own mission statement.

To divide the sections of my homemaking binder, I purchased a package of Avery dividers that have pockets in them. I LOVE having the pockets for papers I need to fill-out, items I need to remember, schedules, bills, my checkbook, and more!

I included five sections in my binder:

  • Home
  • Calendars
  • Recipes
  • Kids
  • Bible

I used to have a blogging section, but I needed more room, so I put all my blogging stuff in a separate binder.

HOME Section of My Home Management Binder:

Free Goal Setting Sheet, Free Chore Chart Checklist

First, I’ve included a goal checklist.  If you would like more information about setting goals, you can see my brainstorming questions and another printable goal form here.  I hope to get mine added within the next few days!

Goals Checklist Printable

 The Goal Worksheet is updated for 2015!

I  have an important date list to add birthdays and anniversaries.  I’ve also included the Chore Chart checklist in the home section of the binder. One way to use it would be to fill out your monthly, quarterly, and annual chores. Slip the sheet into a page protector and mark the date you complete each chore with a dry erase marker!

CALENDER Section of My Homemaking Binder:

Home Management Binder Calendar

The printable weekly calendar is my favorite part of the binder…and where I usually have it turned to during the day. I record appointments, my to-do list, and any part of our menu plan that I need to prep for (if I need to pull hamburger out of the freezer the night before, etc.). Each day also includes a checklist. I *try* to check off when I finish cleaning the area for that day (bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, living area, etc.), Bible study, exercise, vitamins, water, and load of laundry.  It’s much easier to keep up with the laundry if I do a load every day (not that it always happen–but I’m trying)!!

I realize that not everyone wants the checklist at the bottom, so I’ve also included a weekly planner with a larger menu space and no checklist. Both the weekly calendar with the checklist and the weekly calendar without the checklist come in the download.

Free Daily Planner

I’ve added a free daily calendar for those of you who would rather plan out your day in detail (instead of the week).

RECIPE Section of My Home Management Binder:

Use the recipe reference printable page to record some of your tried-and-true recipes. You can also look at this sheet when you’re having a tough time thinking of something to make. You may also want to use it for recipes you want to try.

I keep loose recipes I’ve torn from magazines stored in page protectors until I can try them to see if we want to add them to our repertoire.

This printable menu planning sheet was new in 2013, and I love it! It includes room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and has a grocery shopping list on the side. I think it would look nice on the refrigerator, as well.

The grocery list area includes a small box you can check if you have a coupon for that item. I personally write down where to find the coupon when I’m making my weekly menu plan. For instance, if a coupon I need is in the Red Plum insert from December 10, I’ll just pencil in RP 12/30.   You can always just put a checkmark in the box so you remember that you have a coupon for that item, too.

When it’s time to go shopping, just cut off the list and take it with you!

My menu planning procedure varies throughout the year, but I like keeping my menu plans from eMeals in the binder in case I want to use some of those recipes. I have page protectors storing each week’s meal plan.

KIDS Section of My Home Management Binder:

Free Babysitter printable form

New in 2014, we added a printable form for babysitters.  Simply fill it out and leave it with your babysitter to let them know special instructions for your child(ren).

June Printable

I also have a monthly calendar I’m using to plan out read alouds, field trips, service projects, and kids activities.  The download includes calendars for all twelve months–Jan. 2015 to Dec. 2015.

The kids section includes a schedule. You can either use one sheet for everyone in the family and fill out a Monday-Friday schedule or fill out a daily schedule for each person in the family on one sheet. I did a basic schedule for all of us on one page.

The last part in my kids section is an idea list. This list could actually be used for anything: sewing projects, house projects, Pinterest projects, etc. I chose to go through our resources and make a list of activities the girls could do. I slipped it into a page protector, so I can cross off activities we complete with a dry-erase pen. Once the girls have done all of the activities, I can just clean of the page protector and start again!

The Bible section is the last part of my binder. Right now, it just contains lined notebook paper for taking notes and journaling!

So, that’s my simple home management binder. It’s nothing too fancy, but it’s working well for us!  If you want to see a quick tour of my binder from a few years ago, you can find a video on YouTube.  I do need to update since I’ve changed a few things, but you get the general idea!


Due to popular demand, I am giving away my 2015 home management binder printables for FREE to email subscribers through January 31, 2015! To get them, just go here and pick a subscription option. You’ll want to check your spam if you aren’t seeing the subscription email.  Be sure to confirm your subscription, and shortly after you confirm, you should receive another email with the link to the download.

I realize that not everyone is interested in getting my daily email updates, so you can purchase the printable set of 8.5″ x 11″ pages for just $3.49. If you’d like to purchase a set, please just click on the button below!  I am also kicking off a new eCourse entitled “Home Management…for the Rest of Us:  Finding PEACE in the Chaos.”  The printables are available as part of that, too.  Find out more here.

2015 Home Management Binder Printables

27 Pages of Home Management Binder Printables for $3.49 or Get the Home Management Download + Access to My Upcoming Home Management…for the Rest of Us eCourse for $6.00 (Begins January 12, 2015)


Homemaking Binder Download Set

There are a total of 27 8.5″ x 11″ pages included in the download:

  • Customizable Cover (Please note that this is the only customizable page available at this time)
  • Important Dates
  • Chore Chart Checklist
  • Recipe References
  • Menu Planner
  • Idea Checklist
  • Weekly Calendar (2 Versions)
  • Daily Calendar
  • Babysitter Form
  • Schedule
  • Goal Sheet
  • Monthly Calendars for 2015

Happy Homemaking Binder Making!! :)

P.S. If these printables are helpful to you, would you please consider sharing this post via Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook! Just click the share button below the post or on the side of the page! Thank you so much!

Please note: These printables were created by Shelly Fraley at This set is copyright-protected. Please feel free to make copies for yourself but share this blog post with friends so they can get their own! Thanks so much!

Strong Healthy Mom Challenge: Week 7 Update

Welcome to the Strong Healthy Mom Challenge update! Wondering what this is? Check out this post to join us. Then read on to find out how to enter to win this week’s giveaway and join us for a little accountability!

Strong Healthy Mom Challenge
Sorry for the late update this week!  We ended up traveling for the holidays…and I’m having some trouble catching up!  It’s been a little stressful, and to be honest, I haven’t fared so well.  The great reminder is that this is a journey.  I read an interesting article by Jade Teta of Metabolic Effect this week, and there were several things that stuck out to me, but I really love this.

He says:

  1. “Be a detective not a dieter: To achieve real and lasting body change, you need to know how to read the signals of your body and adjust your approach. Hunger, energy, and cravings give you a reliable source of biofeedback. Correct these sensations first, and then you are in a position to see lasting change

  2. Understand self-control: If you want change, you need to make room for change. Psychologists tell us that self-control, just like our muscles, is fatigue-able. If you are doing too much, you will do nothing well. Before adding to your life, make sure you subtract.

  3. Design a lifestyle that is easy: Body change requires making changes that are as easy or easier than the things they are replacing. If you think you can go on doing the same old things and get a different result, you are sadly mistaken. You must change, and that change must be doable over the long run.

  4. It is all about ME, meaning you: It does not matter if your friend can lose weight eating Fruit Loops and Frappucinos. There is nothing fair or logical about body change. Learn, practice, and master what works for you. No matter what any article, guru, friend, or anyone else tells you, filter EVERYTHING through your own metabolic tendencies, personality behaviors, and psychological preferences. This is the core teaching of Metabolic Effect.”

Read the whole article here.


Anyway I love thatt!  It’s a great reminder that we are all unique, and it is crazy to think the exact same plan is going to work for all of us!  Here is how I did on last week’s goals.

1) Continue forcing myself to go to bed by 10:30 PM! – Made this goal about 1/2 the time again.  Christmas traveling got in the way!

2) Continue with the Eight-Week Fat Loss Plan for Busy People from – Accomplished!

3) Eat mindfully and slowly. - Let’s just say I really did not do well in this area.  Several super-stressful situations occurred, and I went back to some old patterns.  Here’s to a fresh start in this new week!

New Goals:

1) Drink at least 10 cups of water each day to help detox from holiday eating.

2) Continue with the Eight-Week Fat Loss Plan for Busy People from

3)  2 Liquid (soups, smoothies, etc) meals each day to help with detox.


If you’ve missed the past few weeks, here is a recap of what the challenge is all about:

Strong Healthy Mom Challenge: Holiday Edition

From now through January 11, I will be posting weekly goals and sharing updates on how it is going. Even better, I want to invite you to share your goals and progress…and be eligible to win. Here’s how it works: 1) If you haven’t yet, leave a comment on the first week’s post with your long-term goals for the next eight weeks. (This post will be open for comments throughout the challenge.) 2) Leave a comment on this post about how your week went. Then, share your goals for the next week. That’s it! Each week, we’ll just share and be accountable to each other. To keep it fun and mix things up, I’ll be throwing in a giveaway each week. There will be things like Amazon Gift Cards, Jillian Michael’s DVDs, Fitness Blender programs, Trim Healthy Mama books, and Starbucks gift cards. These winners will be randomly chosen from the comment section on each week’s post, and I will share those winners each week. Each weekly post will be open for comments until the following Sunday at 8 PM CT. Our “big” giveaway will be at the end of the eight weeks. Those who have commented and joined in with us for at least four of the eight weeks will be eligible for that giveaway. The winner will be able to choose what they want from these three options: $100 Gift Card to Amazon, $100 Gift Card to Trim Healthy Mama store, or a $100 gift card to Target. The final winner will be chosen on January 12, 2015! I will be posting on Instagram (you can find me here) under the hashtag #stronghealthymomchallenge. If you are on Instagram or Twitter, there will be a special giveaway at the end for those who use the hashtag, so use it so we can find you! :) You can also join our Facebook group – Strong Healthy Mom Challenge!

Last week’s winner of the $10 Amazon Gift Card or Jillian Michael’s DVD is: charlotteedwardszhang@.

This week, I’m just sticking with a $10 Amazon Gift Card giveaway to make it simple! There are just two weeks to go, so be sure you comment on at least four posts to be eligible for the $100 gift card!

Have a beautiful, strong week!

Five Ways to Recycle Christmas Cards

If you’re like us, you probably have a few Christmas cards you’re trying to figure out what to do with since Christmas is over.  These are just a few ways we’ve reused cards over the years.  I’d love to hear your ideas, too!

Five ways to recycle Christmas cards:

1)  Save the cards to create simple crafts next December.

Search for recycled Christmas card crafts, and you can find a plethora of ideas for using the fronts of old cards.  We made this Nativity ornament.  You could also make:

Also, Martha Stewart has a great photo gallery of ideas for recycling Christmas cards.


2)  Make a “Wall-of-Fame” with the photos you’ve received.

I have a special bulletin board in my office where I hang the pictures I’ve received.  It’s nothing fancy–I just cut-out the photos and tack them in place.  I enjoy seeing photos of family and friends and remembering them throughout the year.  When Christmas rolls around next year, I’ll take down the old photos and replace them with new ones.  You could also make a nicer display with a fabric-covered board, photo frame, etc.


3)  Send them to St. Jude’s Recycled Card Program.

St. Jude’s accepts used, all-occasion greeting cards and uses the front of them to make “new” cards.  Children and volunteers create these cards which are then sold to support St. Jude’s programs and services.  You can find out more details about the St. Jude’s Recycled Card Program here.


4) Create a “Stay-in-Touch” Basket

Place all the cards in a basket.  Each week, you can pick a card and do something special for the chosen family or person.  Send a handwritten note, make some cookie, call, or visit them.  The ideas are limitless!


5)  Create a Prayer Basket

Just like in the idea above, put all the cards in a basket.  Each week, pick a card and pray specifically for that family or person.


What do you do with your old Christmas cards?