Finding Time in Your Day for the Want-to’s

35 days down and 31 to go in the 66-Day Experiment to Redeem Time


So far, we have:

>Cleaned out food storage spaces and made a master list of foods on hand

>Introduced MEOW worksheet to plan Meals, Exercise, Obligations, and Want-to’s

>Made a list of family favorite meals and planned a week’s menus to meet nutrition needs; encouraged the use the fruits and veggies more website.

>Planned to include exercise in our day; encouraged trying different activities, and exploring an exercise website





>Scheduled Bible time; encouraged trying one of the Bible study websites





Now it’s time to put it all together!

Introducing the MEOW weekly daily plan .

It’s a place to sketch out your

Meals (for body and spirit)


Obligations, and

Want-to’s for the week.






This week’s challenge:

>Use the MEOW Weekly/Daily Plan sheet to include nutritious meals, exercise and Bible time in your day and see where any chunks of time can be redeemed!

Making any progress? Share here or on the Facebook page. Join here if you haven’t already.

(Look for a progress report and new challenge next week.)





Make Time for Bible Time

28 days down, 38 to go in the 66-Day Experiment to Redeem Time

This week’s focus will be on including daily Bible time in your daily activities.


I traveled to Dallas, Texas, to attend the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference. It was three packed days of meetings, workshops, and networking with other writers.

My plan included strengthening exercises in the hotel room.

That didn’t happen.

But the Gaylord Texan was HUGE, so I got in a lot of walking, combined with some stretches at stops on the LONG  round-trip drive. So that was my modified  exercise for the week.






Nothing replaces finding quiet time and space to sit down and read the Bible, but sometimes it is helpful to think about ways to approach the reading to make it more meaningful.

Here is are some ideas:

I thought the discovery of the Fruit and Veggies website was spectacular, but this website is GRAND!







Grand Canyon, Arizona





*Check out Our Daily Bread Ministries  website! Here you will find:

>The daily devotion, Our Daily Bread. It includes not only the text, but the audio of the text and the Bible scripture for the day. You can listen and let the sound of the words sink in. Also included is a Bible in one-year plan.



>Our Daily Journey—a daily topical devotional using the New Living Translation and has a 365-day reading plan.

>The time-honored classic, My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers is posted here with topics for related study and a Bible in one-year reading plan.

You can even read in several different languages with the click of a button!


*  HERE is another site that gives 10 detailed tips to help get more from your Bible Time.

I especially like to apply the #9 suggestion when I’m reading:


Don’t just read for head knowledge; read with the purpose of growing in your knowledge of Christ and in your daily walk with Him.

It is good to keep a Bible reading diary. Write down the date, list the passage that you read, and then jot down the practical thoughts that you got from that reading. Ask yourself, “What is God saying to me from this passage today?”

*AND here’s another help:  5 simple steps to solid Bible study


 This week’s Challenge:

>Use the MEOW worksheet and schedule in your Bible time, make it like an appointment

>Check out one of the Bible reading websites listed above to help with your study.




Make Time for Exercise

21 Days down and 45 to go in the 66-Day Experiment to Redeem Time





Here’s my list of family favorites and the menus I planned last week.

Top favorites (excluding sweets): chili; chicken & rice; chicken-fried; salmon; tacos; pizza; beef stroganoff; steak; spaghetti; crab legs; hamburgers; large white limas and ham; raw vegetables-cauliflower, carrots, broccoli; squash-fried; okra-fried; sweet potato, baked potato, garden salad, banana bread.

Here are my last week’s breakfast, lunch and dinner meal plans 

Love that Fruits and Veggies  More Matters website that I used extensively. (Listing again the really great links within the website.)



Monday: Breakfast Sandwich, Vegetable Salad, Ciabatta Cheese Pizza; Tuesday: Oatmeal w/fruit, Chicken w/broccoli, Large limas w/leftover ham and jalapeno corn muffins; Wednesday: Banana bread w/hard-cooked egg & fruit juice, fish taco w/slaw, chicken w/ fruit; Thursday: Fruit yogurt parfait, veggie wrap, one-pot lentils & garlic bread; Friday: Waffles w/strawberry & banana, vegetable soup & crackers, chicken bog; Saturday: Breakfast burrito, tuna fish sandwich, penne pasta Pomodoro; Sunday: Cereal w/fruit, salmon w/broccoli, egg sandwich w/milk

My favorite was a healthy pizza variation I tried out–

Butternut Squash-Tomato Sauce Pizza  (See recipe under Investigatin’ Cookin.)

ciabatta bread pizza I


Proper nutrition will fuel the body, but we also need to move to look and feel better, and be more energized.


But what should we do, how long, and when?

Here’s the deal:

The best exercise is the one you will do.


The best time is whenever you can.

So, the task for this experiment is to plan for the what, when, and how long to exercise.



A balanced program includes warm up, aerobics, strength training, core training, and stretching.

Warm up:  a good warm up is walking and pumping arms.

Aerobics: Aerobic means “with oxygen.” Examples: walking, jogging, swimming, rope jumping, dancing, bicycling

Strength training: Strengthening involves working your muscles against some form of resistance.  Examples: use of free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands, weight of your own body (i.e. push-ups, lunges and standing squats)

Core stability: The core is the area around your trunk and pelvis. A strong core helps you with other physical activities. Examples: crunches, using a fitness ball, yoga, Pilates routines.

Stretching: This action increases flexibility; target major muscle groups—calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders. Always warm up before stretching to prevent injury— Yoga, Pilates and tai chi promote flexibility.

A good resource with examples you can do at home is at


Some tips to get you started:

Make it enjoyable. The hardest part about physical activity is getting started. Schedule exercise with a friend. Listen to music. Any activity is good activity. Weeding the garden, dancing, walking the dog will get you moving.


Multi-task: Knock out another activity while exercising. Examples:

When I was a Success in Daily Living seminar director, we developed an exercise-cleaning routine and dubbed it “Cleanercise.”

Listen to a teaching tape or audio book while cycling. (I have a box of old Sunday school lessons on cassette that I need listened to, and copy to CD.  I can do this while exercising!)

Read or write while walking on the treadmill. (My husband added a shelf to the treadmill for my computer. I can write and edit while walking. I walk slow, but have walked miles that way.)











Walk before you run. Don’t do too much, too hard, too often, too soon.

Tell someone what you’re are doing who will provide support and help you be accountable.



Use a realistic strategy. Are you a morning person who can get up earlier to exercise before your workday starts? If not, try after work.

Set activity goals at the beginning of each week and review at end of week. If not meeting them, revise, don’t give up. Remember any activity is good activity.

Pick a time and stick to it. Plan and write it on your daily schedule (use the MEOW worksheet!) Don’t try to fit it into spare time. If exercise is not a priority it gets pushed to the side!



30 minutes a day is a common suggestion.

You don’t have to do your daily exercise all at one time. This is especially good news for writers and those in sedentary work. (Three 10-minute sessions of brisk walking can provide almost the same benefits that one 30-minute session does.)


The 66-Day Experiment Challenge this week:

>Use the MEOW Daily Worksheet and plan what, how long, and when you will exercise.

>Try out different activities that fit your schedule and interests. (Like walk in AM, and alternate core and/or strength 10-minute workouts in the PM.   Whatever works for YOU.

> Check out this website which has several 10-minute workouts to choose from,

Also,  check these sites, depending on your needs:

A good resource for those sitting at a computer all day long.

How about for the traveler?

Easy ways to exercise without messing up your schedule


 (Look for a progress report and new challenge to redeem the time next Monday, September 25.)




Planning Healthy Meals Your Family Will Eat

14 days down, 52 to go in The 66-Day Experiment to Redeem Time.

This investigation



is to establish good habits for:

  • eating meals that meet the Recommended Dietary Allowance
  • reading the Bible, and
  • exercising

while regaining some time in the process.

So far, we’ve cleaned out food spaces, made a list of on-hand items, used a MEOW DAILY WORKSHEET new  that incorporates space to meet the goals of this experiment, and worked on adding  a vegetable in every meal .





This week’s emphasis will be HEALTHY MEAL PLANNING—what to put in those 4 boxes on the MEOW Worksheet




Over the years I have made lots of healthy meal plans, collected dozens of cookbooks and gathered hundreds of recipes—even edited a couple of cookbooks. The problem: I still had no  consistent plans that met dietary requirements AND that my family would actually eat.



Then there is the fact that nutrition recommendations have been in constant flux. First came the “Basic Seven,” then the “Basic Four” which changed to the Food Guide Pyramid and now “My Plate”










Successful meal planning was like hitting a brick wall.















But investigation has made a spectacular discovery.














Here it is.

The site I’ve been hoping for.





This week’s challenge

  • Plan your week’s meals using the  MEOW Daily Worksheet. Getting meals figured out should be a great way to Redeem some time!!


Comment on this page or on the private FACEBOOK page for the 66-Day Experiment. JOIN PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP HERE if you haven’t already.

(Look for a progress report and new challenge to redeem the time next Sunday, September 17)

Investigating Planning Healthy Meals

Why 66 days to redeem time?


It’s been seven days, 59 to go, in the 66-Day Experiment to Redeem Time


In the 1960’s, a research study popularized the idea that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, but an updated study found that it took more than two months for a new behavior to become automatic—on average 66 days.

So, I decided to put the three big goals for this experiment—eating right, daily Bible time, and daily exercise—to a 66-day test.

By the way, this is a NO GUILT experiment, do what you can, see what works, and modify to suit you. The assignments I put out there will hopefully give you some help to get your own system working.  No need to be overwhelmed or feel defeated.



  • Clean out all places that hold food in your house—refrigerators, freezers, pantries, cupboards. Get rid of mystery, old and freezer- burned items.
  • Make a master list of items on hand and sketch out where they are, and on what shelf.

I confess I wouldn’t have pushed to clean out if I hadn’t issued this challenge. But it feels good to be rid of the old stuff and know what I have on hand for meal planning.








Use a calendar system of your choice to track appointments and things to do. Many use mobile device calendars, but I operate best with a pocket calendar for appts/to do reminders that I can write in.















In addition, I use a planner or planner sheets (calendar labs is a good resource) that shows the month and week at a glance.  I currently use a 2017/2018 Cambridge with monthly and weekly pages.

HERE’S THE PROMISED TOOL—a daily worksheet using the acronym MEOW that includes the 3 target goals to see if  progress is being made to redeem time. THIS WORKSHEET IS EVOLVING. SEE HOW IT WORKS FOR YOU.  PLEASE MAKE SUGGESTIONS, AND MODIFICATIONS AS NEEDED.  MEOW WORKSHEET pdf


This may seem tedious, but if it takes money to make money, it’s going to take time to make time.


  1. Fill in the date: Check your calendar. What are your appointments and what is on your To Do list? Fill in under “Other Obligations.”
  2. Fill in day of week. If it’s a day that you have weekly activities, add to the “Other Obligations” section. (Since this experiment is concerned with healthy eating and reporting progress I have identified days to weekly meal plan, shop, and make a blog post)
  3. M– (Meals)

Feed the spirit- Schedule Bible time.  (A later post will give ideas/resources for devotions)

Feed the body- I’ve listed the general recommended dietary allowances (RDA) with space to meal plan breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. As you fill in meal plans check off what food groups are met, then you can see where you are and aren’t meeting your daily needs. (A later post will give more suggestions for meal planning), but this week, try to plan a vegetable for each meal.

  1. E (Exercise) plan what you will do and when. (A later post will address exercise tips.)
  2. O (Other Obligations) List appointments and to do items for the day.
  3. Look for places you can multi-task (deal with more than one task at a time)– i.e. Make phone calls, while you prep food to go in slow cooker.
  4. Block off times that are committed for the day—the ”WHEN’s”
  5. W (Want to do) HERE IS WHERE YOU HOPEFULLY CAN SEE TIME IN THE DAY FOR YOUR “WANT TO’S” (Multi-tasking will help here.) Look for the uncommitted times on the timeline.


Armed with your list of foods on hand and your calendar with appts and to do items,

  • Use the Meow Daily Worksheet to Redeem Time two or more times this week. Plan to use foods on hand.
  • Easing into this concept, start by including a vegetable in each meal of the day.

Comment on this page or on the private FACEBOOK page for the 66-Day Experiment. JOIN HERE

(Look for a progress report and new challenge to redeem the time next Sunday, September 10.)


The 66-Day Experiment to Redeem the Time


Welcome to the 66-Day Experiment to Redeem the Time Kick off.


Do you ever feel like there are just not enough hours in the day?

I sure do, and often.

I am not only a private investigator and writer, but a home economist and former success in daily living seminar director. So along with delving into civil and domestic matters, I’ve researched good practices for daily life management. But knowing and doing are not the same.

Of late, I’ve been so focused on writing, daily tasks suffer—eating right, exercising, and Bible time. I binge plan, eat healthy in spurts, buy fresh veggies and fruit then crumble at the first mention to eat out. Or how about when your husband grimaces at the sound of what you have planned for dinner? I’m easily enticed to our local Lazy Dog restaurant or pizza, then throw out slimy veggies a couple of weeks later.

I’ve got to do better. I’m a home economist for goodness sake.



I’ve got a ton of recipe and management books. I’ve taught this stuff. What’s up here?

Paul in the Bible puts it well, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do.” (Rom. 7:15- NIV)

Can you relate?





I want to read my Bible, eat right, and exercise daily,  but find myself doing what I hate—eating too much sugar and processed foods, getting little or no exercise, and playing catch up on my devotional reading—not to mention my household being in disarray. Scheduled appointments eat up the day. My husband and I often eat on the run (not the healthful kind of running) with me trying to squeeze in writing and reading.

The Bible warns in Ephesians 5:15-16, “See then that you walk circumspectly (cautiously), not as fools, but as wise, REDEEMING THE TIME (emphasis mine) because the days are evil.”

A big way that days can be evil is when they are filled with time-wasters and distractions. SO OUT OF NEED, MY LATEST INVESTIGATION STARTED TO TAKE SHAPE.


???????    Why 66 days? (That’s 9 weeks plus 3 days.)    ???????

I’ll explain in next week’s post.


With the goal of investigating

time-saving ways to include healthy eating, Bible time and exercise in our day and redeem time (Tweet this)

for extras we want to accomplish…









Here is our first week’s challenge:

By next Sunday, September 3, 2017,

  • Clean out all places that hold food in your house—refrigerators, freezers, pantries, cupboards. Get rid of mystery, old and freezer- burned items.
  • Make a master list of items on hand and sketch out where they are, and on what shelf. (So the hidden items are not forgotten.)

This will save time when you know what you have on hand and where to find it.

You may comment here AND a private Facebook page for the 66-Day Experiment is available to share any comments, questions or how things are working for you. JOIN HERE

(Look for a progress report and new challenge to redeem the time next Sunday.)



Writing with Momentous Meaning

Investigating Writing and the Bible

When Jesus was sentenced to be crucified, Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, KING OF THE JEWS.

Scripture: John 19:19-22

Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write the King of the Jews, but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”

Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

Pilate needed to have sufficient reason for the execution of Jesus, and he was not above mocking the Jews. Pilate’s refusal to change the writing on the cross underscores that Jesus’ kingship is final and unalterable.

Pilate’s writing carried momentous meaning. Tweet this!



Ezekiel’s Object Lesson

Investigating Writing and the Bible

Scripture: Ezekiel 37:16-17


God often commanded Ezekiel to use material objects as symbols—a clay tablet; an iron pot; wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and spelt; and a sharp sword.

In Ez. 37:16, Ezekiel is to use two sticks in an object lesson

…take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him,’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Ephraim’s stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.











37:17 Join them together into one stick, so that they will become one in your hand.


The object lesson Ezekiel presented using the written word was a powerful visual of God’s intention for Israel to be one nation.


Jeremiah Writes Flaming Words

Investigating Writing and the Bible


Jeremiah in 22:30 is instructed to write a judgment against the evil king of Judah, Je-hoi-a-kim.

Thus saith the Lord, write this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days…

The Israelites were taken into captivity in Babylon. Jeremiah was told in 30:2 to …write all the words God had spoken in a book.

Again, Jeremiah in 36:2 is told, Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even into this day.

Jeremiah obeyed and dictated the words to Baruch, a scribe.  Foolishly, King Je-hoi-a-kim heard the words and had the scroll burned. Jeremiah’s words went up in flames as if it could stop judgment. (Tweet that!)








But in 36:28 Jeremiah is instructed to Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Je-hoi-a-kim the king of Judah hath burned.  

Not only were the words rewritten, verse 36:32 tells us the scribe wrote …all the words of the book which Je-hoi-a-kim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words.


Commands to Write in Isaiah

Investigating Writing and the Bible

Isaiah 8:1, 10:1, 30:8

In Isaiah, there are three commands regarding writing that give:


                      Direction–  The Lord said to me, “Take a large scroll and write on it with an ordinary pen: Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz.” Is 8:1 (This name Isaiah was later directed to give his son.)




                                  WarningWoe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; Is 10:1





                                         CautionGo now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. Is 30:8 (This written to caution the Israelites not to forget the obstinate nation, Egypt.)