Saturday, April 30, 2011

Women Mentors

I've been thinking about how important it is for women (and men, too, for that matter) to have mentors. I think that's why blogging has taken off the way it has. It gives women the opportunity to peek into another like-minded mom's life. In an artificial sort of way, we gain insight, new ideas, encouragement and the opinions of moms like us.  This is especially important for those moms who have no other women in their lives with similar lifestyles, convictions and beliefs.

In the past, most women led pretty similar lives with extended families often living close by.  And nieghbors were a natural source of support and help.  Now, families are typically scattered, broken or estranged and it's very difficult to find the help and support we need.

Enter blogs. :)

But not just any blog. Only the most helpful ones are of value. Those that teach me something new, encourage me in my goal as wife and mother and instruct me on effeciently keeping my home are the ones that I have time for.

Home tours are especially fun because what woman doesn't enjoy seeing how other women decorate and manage their house?  Virtual tours offer a way to gain fresh ideas for our own homes all over the globe that we'd otherwise never be able to "visit".  In this way, people all over the world are becoming neighbors.

The other advantage to blogs is that they fit into the micro-moments of our lives.  I can sit down for a coffee break and pop over for a visit for some encouragement or ideas in less than 5 minutes. 

Facebook, twitter and the rest like them are a huge time waster.  Who cares what someone's doing every few minutes.  These have no value whatsoever and only feed or encourage voyeurism.  My time is much too valuable to read or post on one of those.  But a blog can be a wonderful means for mentoring others and being mentored to fill the strange gaps the 21st century has ushered in.

In this blog, I  hope to get some photos up soon and a home tour as well.  Since I just moved, I am just beginning to get the house settled and decorated. So let us blog for the benefit of others that we might encourage one another. 

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to GOOD WORKS.
Hebrews 10:24

Friday, April 29, 2011

Good Health Begins With Digestion

It's been a long, slow climb toward health but I am determined to get there.  I have been working out using The Firm with weights three times a week and Walk Aerobics three times a week, with one day off for most of 2011.  And while I know the exercise is doing me good, I am not seeing much of a change in body size which is frustrating. 

I think the Lord answered my prayers when he pointed me toward my gallbladder.  I posted yesterday about gallbladders and living without them.  Up until that point, it had not occurred to me that sluggish digestion due to having no gallbladder could be at the crux of my wieght and digestion problems.

Even if someone whose gallbladder is in tact is having problems with their health, it would stand to reason that the problem is going to originate somewhere in the digestive process. 

Getting our organs running smoothly, with or without a gallbladder, is the first order of business for good health.  Once that is functioning properly, I think good health is the natural result.  Fasting once a week from dinner to dinner is probably something I will be trying as well.  It seems a natural thing to do to give the digestion a complete break from the onslaught of incoming food for 24 hours.  And skipping dinner and the next day's breakfast and lunch seems to be the easiest way to do because it takes advantage of each day's natural overnight fasting period.

Other things I will implement this week are adding digestive enzymes (beano),  probiotics and bragg's apple cider vinegar to each day's regimen.  I am hoping that these things will help my sluggish digestive system get going again.

I already do a parasite cleanse once a year.  But I've only done a liver flush once and I sure didn't like it. I'll have a hard time doing that again.  In fact I'll do just about anything I can to avoid it.  But it will probably become necessary sometime in the near future.  Now I'm off to research foods that would do me the most benefit with the least amount of digestive effort.   :)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Living Without A Gallbladder

Years ago, I naively had my gallbladder removed after being told it was all that could be done.  Did you know that 20 million Americans have gallstones, and 750,000 of them have their gallbladders removed each year? And apparently it's big business.  About $2 billion is spent annually on gallbladder problems.

Of course, at the time of my gallbladder trouble, I had no idea that there were alternatives to curing this problem.  I was ignorant about the whole matter and found out too late.  How I wish I could have my little gallbladder back.  And shame on those doctors who routinely tell their patients that the gallbladder isn't really "necessary".   Doctors never discuss the after-effects of gallbladder surgery except to say that we'll be all well afterwards. But it doesn't take long to feel very betrayed  and unprepared for "life without a gallbladder."

Contrary to medical opinion the gallbladder is of use to the body. The gallbladder is a small sac underneath your liver that stores and secretes bile, a digestive fluid that breaks down fats. Gallstones actually are formed in the liver and get sloshed into the gallbladder during normal activity. Since bile is actually produced by the liver, it's possible to survive without a gallbladder, but not without unpleasant digestive tract complications. The gallbladder is like a pump. Without it, the liver can't secrete enough bile to properly digest a full meal. Symptoms like diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion, constipation, increased allergies, liver congestion, itchy skin, weight gain and autoimmune diseases are not uncommon.

I found the following suggestions to be of good help for those of us living without a gallbladder.  I have wondered for a long time why I've been having trouble with indigestion, weight gain, gas and bloating. I've been praying for the Lord to give me wisdom concerning these things and I believe he did by reminding me about my gall bladder.  I had not connected the dots because I had my gall bladder out over 10 years ago. But I've had these problems increasing in my life over those years slowly, so I believe I've identified the cause. 

I follow most of the suggestions below but it must not be enough because I still experience the same problems. So I'm going to add the ones I haven't done and see if it makes a difference. The ones I already do or have done are in bold. 

Here is what is recommneded:
  • Diet is extremely important. Eat low-fat, high fiber, organic and healthy.
  • Eliminate hydrogenated oils.
  • Parasite Cleanse - Two times a year do a six-week course of Para-Buster then maintenance for 3 weeks.
  • Liver Flush - Every four months. People without gallbladders may develop stones in the liver which will lead to a sluggish liver.
  • Digestive Enzymes - 3-5 capsules at least 15 minutes before each meal for the rest of your life.  This is in order to digest the good fats (Omega 3) which are essential for good health.
  • Reduce chemical overload on the liver (pre-packaged food, personal care products, lawn products, perfumes, cosmetics, etc.)
  • Drink only filtered water - Try to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water every day.
  • Use a Probiotic - I recommend Latero-Flora or Primal Defense.
  • Reduce animal intake (meat and dairy) - When consuming animal products make sure they are free-range, organic and hormone-free.
  • Eliminate white sugar and white flour and refined carbohydrates.
  • Consume a green drink or pills equal to one-two tablespoons daily. Quantum Greens is a good choice.
  • Activated Charcoal - Some people have found that this helps with symptoms as it helps to sequester bile acid.
  • Chinese Bitters (Chinese Gentian with Bupleurum) in the morning and Coptis with Bupleurum at night to stimulate bile flow.
  • Exercise daily for 30 minutes. Walking is highly suggested.

    I am going to implement these things into my life and see if they will help my digestive system operate to its fullest and help to alleviate the troubles I've had since my gallbladder removal.

    So my gallbladder is gone...that is the past.  But I must move on and educate myself in getting healthy and feeling better.  It's good to remember that there are always solutions and always hope.  The Lord is so good and faithful.  I praise him for providing a means to deal with even foolish mistakes like this.  Hind sight's 20/20.  So if some doctor tries to tell you that you don't need your gall bladder (God doesn't create things we don't need! DUH!)  then walk quickly out the door and see a naturopath.  There ARE alternatives!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apologetics - Hurtful or Helpful?

Many homeschool moms are using Christian apologetics curricullum for their children. And although I'm all for teaching creation science, I've always felt there's something not quite right about apologetics.  Not to mention the very word, "apologetics".  Sounds like "apologize". And apologizing for faith in Jesus Christ is something I will never do.
Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

An article called The Problem with Apologetics is a good example to why practicing apologetics is not only unnecessary but dangerous.  If you took the time to read that link, it's pretty sobering isn't it?

The whole point of apologetics is to prove God to a rebellious mind.  But think about it in another context.  Nobody walks into an art museum and publicly declares that the paintings evolved right onto the walls. Paintings insist there was a painter, Creation insists there is a Creator.   I believe the whole matter is settled in Romans chapter one.  Everyone knows and understands God through His creation. Everyone.  So doesn't debating and "proving" God to fools make one a fool? 

It may be a misguided desire to see lost souls come to Christ, but I'm inclined to think that debaters like to feel intellectually superior.  But whatever the reason, causing a sinner to lose an intellectual debate does not impel him to fall on his knees in worship and reverence and humility.  Jesus is a sinner's only hope. 

While evangelism reaches the conscience - apologetics deals only with the intellect.

Therefore I believe apologetics is merely an exercise in pride.  And debate is its ugly twin sister.  Both are vanity which the word of God commands us against. 

Titus 3:9
But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

Romans 1:29
Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, DEBATE, deceit, malignity; whisperers.

When a believer is tested and tried, the world is watching.  They want to see if the fruit is "real".  When real grapes are squeezed, they ooze juice while plastic grapes only crack.  Our testimonies are being lived out for the world to see and real Christians are not told to "apologize" or "defend" their faith. but to earnestly contend for the faith. 

Jude 1:3
Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints..

So as I see it, we should be studying the word of God, letting our light so shine that others might see our good works and glorify the father, and contending for our faith.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Are Public Libraries a Safe Place?

Take Heed What You Read

As mother and guardian to the precious souls the Lord has entrusted to me, I am unashamedly vigilant in the material my children "feed" upon.  What food is to the body, books are to the spirit.  There are so many "bad eggs" when it comes to much literary work, be it new and "exciting" or old and "classic".  Bad is bad no matter what labels it bears or what year it hails from. 

Nonfiction, true stories that give glory to God are actually much more exciting than any fiction novel I have ever read hands down.  Better to read to learn than simply be entertained. We are living in a world of walking corpses who seek to fulfill the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. They are addicted to entertainment and tickling their flesh. In small measures, entertainment is a needful part of life. We must all refresh, revitalize, laugh and play.  But let our book reading glofify God, edify the Spirit and instruct the soul.

2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

The following quotes illustrate this point rather well:

There are some so-called Christian homes today with books on the shelves that have no more business there than a rattler crawling about on the floor, or poison within a child's reach. - Billy Sunday (1862-1935)

Give the Bible the honour due to it every day you live.  Whatever  you read, read that first.  And beware of the bad books: there are plenty in this day.  Take heed what you read.  I suspect there is more harm done to souls in this way than most people have an idea is possible.  Value all books in proportion as they are agreeable to Scripture.  Those that are nearest to it are the best, and those that are farthest from it, and most contrary to it, the worst.  - J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

These wise words are a timely and stern reminder that, just as the majority of people on earth are opposed to Christ Jesus, so the majority of published books are opposed to the Word of God.  This fact is apparent with a simple trip to any public library. 

Who Has a Card?

Have you ever noticed how libraries are really pushing for children to have their own library cards? Why would a child, who cannot even drive himself to the library building nor has any income to pay for lost or damaged materials, need his own card?  There can be only one reason: to enable minors/children to check out materials without parental knowledge.  There are even self-check counters now so a child checking out sinful material can check out without facing a human being. Our family has ONE library card. It's in my husband's name, we both have copies of it and all materials are checked out on that account.

Libraries Are Like Busy City Streets

Many homeschooling families naively believe that public libraries are fantastic. Hoever, the contrary is sadly true.  In fact, public librarires are NOT a safe place for our children to roam.  Not only are the shelves bulging with blasphemous and content straight from hell, but it is a PUBLIC library; hence some very strange characters are roaming near those children. Child predators look for children who are unattended. In a public library, parents must be as cautious with their children as they would be on a busy city street.

Librarians display more Godless and blasphemous materials face-front throughout the shelves and display ends than ever before.  Many of these books feature the witchcraft culture that Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings have popularized with horrifying covers. I shove those back into the bookshelves each time I see them. (sigh) I really hate walking through the library anymore because of this. 

Speak Up!

A few months ago, we visited a public library in our nearby "big city".  We got off the elevator, took 5 steps and turned around and left.  This time we didn't even make it into the book section.  The foyer had a large, lighted art display wall and prominently displayed in the center was a painting with blatant nudity.  I could not believe it! 

Being with my husband at the time who does NOT like to make a scene, we simply left.  Had I been there by myself, I admit....a ruckus I would have made!  It is really important to speak up otherwise these sinful displays would go on without a hitch.  My husband ended up calling that library and speaking up.

It is glaringly obvious that the sins of "Sodom and Gomorrah" are no longer contained in certain isolated cities. Such wickedness has spread like a virus to every community, large and small.  We must seek the Lord for grace to live in these last days with evil all around.  That is why the Apostle Paul exhorts us all to pray:

Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks be made for all men for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.   1 Timothy 2:1-2


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Why I read the Authorized King James Bible

God is unchangeable. God's Word is unchangeable too. In Matthew 24:35, the Lord Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

Why then are we so ready to accept changes to God's word in the form of different Bible versions?
The Authorized King James text has faithfully served the body of Christ for almost 400 years. During this time, and during its translation, Satan has viciously and relentlessly attacked it. I now hear Christians attacking it too!
Many people say things like, "it's too hard to read" or "it doesn't properly reflect the true meaning of the original Greek". The issue about the original Greek is an aggravating point--which Greek? There are myriads of Greek manuscripts, including the corrupted manuscripts that the Roman Catholic religion uses. The unkind remarks and attacks against the utter reliability of the text are unfounded.
The Bible is a supernatural book authored by God through men of his choosing. It contains prophesies that have been fulfilled to the letter.  God reveals understanding of His Word to those who are led by His Spirit.
It is not possible for the unbelieving and natural man to understand it (I Corinthians 2:14).  So paraphrasing or simplifying it does no good. In fact I believe it causes great harm. 
The Bible is not supposed to read like a fairy tale--Peter said, "for we have not followed cunningly devised fables" (II Peter 1:16). I find the words of the Authorized King James to be beautiful and full of God's power, not laborious.
The new (per)versions contain blasphemous and dangerous changes to the scriptures, which God gives stern warnings about changing His Word.  It seems that only those who do not fear the Lord God would ignore such harsh warnings.
Revelation 22:18-19, "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."
Proverbs 30:5-6, Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar
2 Corinthians 11:3 says, But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST.

Paul reminds us here that the devil is a deceiver and just as he deceived Eve by changing ONE word, he seeks to deceive the rest of us by any means necessary.  The devil is a pervert and seeks to pervert everything and anything of God.  Why would anyone think he would leave the Bible alone??  There is ONE Bible that God has preserved and not allowed him to touch and that is the King James Bible.  In it, we can read the inerrant, infallible, whole Bible that not only is utterly perfect, but exalts the name of Jesus and gives us the clear, unadulterated words of God.

SOME PEOPLE SAY things like "it is simply a matter of preference as to which version you use. God has the power to see that His inspired word remains true even through the translation process."

But to me, that is like saying, "God's too powerful to allow corruption." What a grave error in logic here. So...does God allow corruption?  Well, he allowed Eve to listen to the serpent and then bite the fruit. (Gen 3:1)  He allows evil men their wickedness and gives them over to reprobate minds. (see Romans 1:28) He allows unbelievers to remain unbelieving if they choose. (Matt 8:22) 

BUT  - when it comes to the precious promises contained in Holy scripture, he HAS kept every one.  The most important of which was making sure that His only begotten son was born of a virgin and crucified on a cross to qualify him as Saviour, as well as preserving his Word.  You can find it today in the King James Bible.  And it has not changed.

I love to read my Authorized King James Bible again and again.  I know that I can confidently stand on it as the complete and total word of God.  So many people spend so much time reading what others say about God's Word in commentaries, Greek lexicons, study bibles, etc. instead of reading the Bible all by itself and asking the Holy Ghost to speak to them and give them understanding.

What puzzles me the most is how anyone could just dismiss the fact that their "bible" leaves out critial words and entire verses that just happen to distort, twist, undermine and confuse the Deity of Christ, the virgin birth, blood atonement, repentance, salvation by faith, the resurrection, the second coming of Christ, suffering for Christ, prayer and much more. 

The NIV, for example, deletes entire verses. When I found this out years ago, I threw my niv in the garbage. I could not even FIND several verses because they'd been ommited.  This fact alone should disturb anyone who reads an niv 'bible'.  Even if they put the verse in footnotes, the verses are changed to create different meanings. One example of many: is 1 Timothy 3:16  - the clearest verse in the Bible proclaiming that Jesus Christ is God.

KJB  1 TIMOTHY 3:16: "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh..."
NIV  1 TIMOTHY 3:16: "HE appeared in a body".
Do you see the distortion?  "he appeared in a body"?   So What?  We've all "appeared in a body".  Furthermore, "he" is a pronoun that refers to a noun or antecedent. There is no antecedent in the context, which renders the statement utterly senseless.

The NIV and other bible versions decieve through subtlety. The very nature of deception is subtlety, otherwise no one would ever be fooled.  (see Genesis 3:1)   I don't want to read any "bible" that removes, deletes and distorts the Words of God.  Why would anyone?

The authorized King James Version used a carefully chosen team of scholars to translate God's Holy word into the world's most popular language - English.  Unfortunately, the complete translator's notes of the Authorized King James scholars are not included in today's publishings. These notes say a lot about these men-- they were humble, loved the word of God, loved the King, were berated by the Catholic religion, and desired a translation for the common man who was being kept in darkness. Some of the translators where killed for their faith.
How many classes do you know of where every student has a different textbook?  Um...that would be....NONE.  It would be ridiculous.  I remember when it was common practice for a congregation to read Bible verses aloud together in unity.  Have you ever heard what this sounds like in today's a modern churches using modern "bibles"?  It sounds like a busy day at Grand Central station. Just a bunch of muttering voices and total verbal confusion. It's a grievous to witness. The Bible tells us that God is not the author of confusion so there is something very wrong going on in modern churches.  How could we have come to such a place?  (I'll give you one guess.)
Did you know that a standard test determined the Authorized KJV reading level to be 5th grade?  That is because it contains mostly one and two-syllabic words making it very easy to read. I've found this to be absolutely true and it's a joy to read such simplicity!  People have been getting saved by reading it for a long, long time. We know that it contains the Word of life whereby we live and grow.
Getting Down to Brass Tacks
Satan knows that many newborn babes in Christ will not have the real milk that they need in order to grow because they'll have in their hands a corrupted perversion of the truth. The Bible stores will offer a rainbow of choices to suit his fancy.  His new fellow church friends will all have versions that suit their itching ears, uh, fancy, too.  Plain and simple, the devil is out to steal, kill and destroy and what better way than to get people reading phony bibles?  In time, the world will point to "Christianity" and say, "They don't even have a definitive word of God.  Anybody can write a Bible."  They already say that the Bible was "just written by men" even though the Bible states that every word was inspired by God Himself.
I believe that the emergence of these many different "Bible" versions is Satan's most successful attempt to attack God's word. The Bible says that in the last days there's going to be a falling away of the church and I believe that these other versions are the catalyst which is ushering it along.
But by divine providence, the King James Bible is still available to the true church today. Unfortunately, so are the scores of modern perversions of the scriptures.  They are like a  field of so many tares. Nevertheless, the Authorised Version stands alone as the word of God. It is tried, true, and tested.  The modern versions with their missing verses and blasphemous heresies are only impostors. The Authorized King James Bible alone speaks with the voice of authority and holiness and has done so for centuries.  This year marks the 400th anniversary.   
For more information and to research this topic more for yourself, read "Which Version Is the Bible?".  It's my favorite resource and packed with facts you I found amazing to learn.

I Praise God for the miraculous preservation of Holy scriptures in the King James Bible!

How to Make an Herbal Poultice

Herbal Poultices are my favorite way to treat injuries.  They work really well and are all natural.  Last year my older son sprained his ankle for the first time in his life (at 14 yrs. old) and was very worried he'd be laid up for a long time (as he's seen me laid up for a long time after a sprained ankle -before I knew about poultices). 

Luckily at the time of his sprain I already had some dried herbs on hand so I was ready to test out the poultices I'd been studying about.  I made a poultice of mullein, slippery elm bark, comfrey and plaintain and placed the poultice on his ankle overnight. Over the next couple of days, I repeated the process with new poultices along with R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation).

To our total delight, he was up and around on day two and walking normally within a few days.  Even though the pain and swelling had gone, I still had him take it easy for a couple weeks to allow for a total healing.  What a HUGE difference from what I have experienced with R.I.C.E. alone.  Now that I know how amazing poultices are, I don't know how I ever lived without them!

How to make an herb poultice

An herbal poultice may be made with dried or fresh herbs and each are prepared in slightly different ways.

Preparing a Dried Herb Poultice

If you are using dried herbs, it helps to grind the herbs to a powder (as with a mortar and pestle, clean coffee grinder, mini food prep, etc). Place the herbs in a bowl, and add enough warm water to make a thick paste that can be easily applied. Make a quantity sufficient to cover the affected area. The ratio of ground herbs to water will vary according to the herb being used. Just add the water in very small increments, just until the mixture is nice and thick but not stiff.

Arrange a clean piece of gauze, muslin or an old cotton t-shirt on a clean on a clean flat surface. The material should be large enough to cover the affected area completely. Spread the warm, wet herbal mixture over the cloth.

Cleanse the affected area with hydrogen peroxide, and place the poultice over the area. Wrap a cloth or towel around the poultice to prevent the soiling of clothes or sheets. Use a pin or other fastener to secure all in place. You can use a hot water bottle or a rice bag heating pad in order to keep the poultice warm.

Preparing a fresh herb poultice

If using fresh herbs for your poultice, place 2 ounces of the whole herb (about 1/2 cup) and about 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Simmer, but do not boil, for 2 minutes. Do not drain.

Arrange a clean piece of gauze, muslin, linen, or white cotton sheeting on a clean, flat surface. The material should be large enough to cover the affected area completely. Pour the herbal solution over the cloth. Cleanse the affected area with hydrogen peroxide, and place the poultice over the area. Wrap a towel around the poultice to prevent the soiling of clothes or sheets. (Celophane also works well.) Use a safety pin or other fastener to secure all  poultice in place.

Treatment duration
Herbal poultices should be kept in place for 1 to 24 hours, or as needed. During this period, you may experience a throbbing pain as the poultice draws out infection and neutralizes toxins. When the pain subsides, you will know that the poultice has accomplished its task and should be removed. Apply fresh poultices as needed until the desired level of healing has been reached.

Herbs commonly used in poultices

Comfrey:used to break up congestion, draw out pus, and remove embedded particles from the skin.

Fenugreek, Flaxseed, and Slippery Elm:
Can be combined to treat inflammation. Slippery elm can also be used alone for the inflamed gangrenous sores often associated with diabetes, and for leg ulcers. The use of a slippery elm poultice upon the appearance of sores and ulcers can help prevent gangrene.

good for inflammations of all kinds.

used for inflamed hemorrhoids, lung disorders, mumps, tonsillitis, and sore throat. To make the poultice, mix 4 parts mullein with 1 part hot apple cider vinegar and 1 part water.

beneficial for inflammation, lung congestion, and swelling, and can help relax tense muscles. Because mustard is an irritant, place the mixture between 2 pieces of cloth, rather than placing it in direct contact with the skin.  You can also mix some egg white into the mustard to prevent burning.  Leave mustard plaster on chest for 10-20 minutes.

excellent for ear infections, boils and sores that have difficulty healing. To make this poultice, place finely chopped onion between 2 pieces of cloth, rather than placing it in direct contact with the skin. I have had great success with using pure onion juice can also go directly into the ear canal to treat an earache.  Just grate a little bit of onion, squeeze out the juice and let a few drops (3-5) go into the ear canal. Rest with that ear facing up and wait 30 minutes and it brings good relief and healing.

a super-power herb that is effective in so many ways.  It is like a fix-all.  Just be careful not to leave it on too long - 1 to 5 minutes - or it will cause a chemical burn.  Place crushed bulbs in a folded paper towel and then in hot water for 3-5 seconds, press excess water out and place on chest, feet or wherever needed for effective healing.  (The soles of feet are a natural port on the body for drawing out infections so it is a good spot no matter what the problem is.) Click here for a great tutorial on making a garlic poultice.

Store dried herbs in a sealed bag or container in a cool dry place. 

Note: that when a mixture that's used to make a poultice contains an irritant, such as mustard, it should not come into direct contact with the skin, but should be placed between pieces of cloth. An added protective measure is to rub some olive oil over the skin prior to placing garlic or mustard poultices to further protect the skin from chemical burns. This will also increase the treatment time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Homemade Deodorant

It's been reported that whatever we put on our skin (the largest 'organ' of the body) absorbs into the body the same as if we ate it.  So it makes sense to use natural products that are "edible" on our skin as much as we can. 

Skin that has been freshly shaven is particularly vulnerable to asorbtion, and when it comes to the chemicals in deodorant this is a big concern.  Aluminium is used in commercial antiperspirants to force the sweat glands to close - an unhealthy and unnatural action.  Research shows aluminium is linked to Alzheimer's disease. 

While most of us don't want to risk our health if we can help it, we also don't want to stink!  But there IS a healthy alternative that actually works and it's as easy as it is effective.  And I must say, it works better than the store bought stuff only without ANY of the health risks.  Score!  :) 


Baking Soda (for odor)
Corn Starch (for dryness)
Virgin Coconut Oil (antibacterial)

1. Mix the BS and CS in equal porportions (1/4 cup of each is more than enough and will last a LONG time).
2. Then mix in enough coconut oil until you get the pasty consistency you are looking for.  This mixture can also be put into an empty deodorant container and "twisted up" just like the real thing. 
3. IMPORTANT NOTE: coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees, so should be kept in the fridge in warmer seasons and climates.

If you don't have coconut oil or for some reason don't wish to use it, you can use the baking soda and cornstarch alone (or even JUST baking soda) and get fantastic results.
My husband is a carpenter and works very hard and sweats hard.  After using baking soda alone, he reported NO ODOR after a long, hard day of work!  So, it definately works.

Ideas for storage

Old powder puff containers makes a convenient place to store baking soda and cornstarch. To apply, simply puff some on. Or you can store in a shaker or pretty jar on your bathroom counter.  To apply, just grab a pinch and smooth some on while leaning over the sink. Bonus: baking soda is a wonderful cleanser, so you can clean your sink with it, too.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Run the Day or The Day Runs You

Do you find yourself chasing after your day as if you were a helpless bystander at it's mercy?  Or does planning and organization come naturally to you?  I prefer a balance between the two.  Even the best laid plans are subject to interruptions, so being prepared for them is wise.  Of course, our husbands and children should never be made to feel like "interruptions" in our plans so no matter how you run your day, always welcome their company warmly and gratefully. 

There are however, unfruitful distractions that can lead you down a path of idle or wasted time. Use a timer if necessary. Planning for a nice coffee or tea break in your day helps keep you happily productive during  your work. 

I know that is an important part for me because I tend toward the energizer-bunny-kind-of-gal and have a hard time finding the "off" button. So for me, it's important to make time for a break so that by the end of the day I have enough energy reserved to enjoy the evening with my family.

Asking your husband for input on how you spend your day is also important.  Take his suggestions to heart and if possible, and arrange your schedule with his needs in mind.  Some ladies keep a home management binder to be helpful with this.  I actually do have a binder, but have not found it to be that useful; at least in this area.  Lists work better for me posted someplace I can see them frequently and check off or add to them as I go.  Once you've got an idea of what to do, make your schedule or list and check it off as you go.
Teaching Children to Help with Housework

Don't forget to give your children the opportunity to help!  Children need to be involved our daily activities. It's a vital aspect of their childhood - to be needed. And boy do mothers need their help! Today we hung up new drapes in the living room and our sons were there learning and helping right beside us.

We deliberately give them jobs to do that we could have done much faster ourselves, so they won't be deprived of the experience and the good feeling that goes with it. That's a key word: derprived.  When I'm tempted to "just do it myself" I think of how selfish it would be to deprive my children of something very good. They need to know they are needed and appreciated.  And they can't know it without our showing it.  A childhood full of "token" work is wrong.  Give them real responsibilities!

For example, my littlest son loved to help me with laundry. Even when he was just 2 years old, his servant's heart was showing.  Somehow he always popped up right by my side when I was at the washing machine. 

His job was to shove the wet clothes into the dryer as I plopped them down on the dryer door.  We always chatted cheerfully about our day and it didn't even feel like work.  I really enjoyed his sweet company as we did this little chore.  We really had fun as we worked together.

Naturally as kids get older they realize it isn't all a game, but by then they've learned to work cheerfully and with regularity knowing they are a useful, needed and appreciated member of the family.  And they become more and more prepared to take care of their own families someday. 

We don't set the bar so high that they can't reach it.  Mine still need reminding now and then and sometimes I'm tempted to stick a post-it note to their forehead, but one thing which I consider a sweet fruit of all my labors: they don't complain about working.  I'm grateful for that. And some of the jobs we give them are income earning, which is their favorite kind.

 1. Setting boundaries 

One of the boundaries in our house is to keep a BIG mess contained in one room at a time.  Our kids sometimes "take over" the living room with wonderful and elaborate games or creative structure which is fine.  I always come and admire their fancy forts and intricate war set-ups. (Can you tell I have boys?) But the boundary rule keeps things from getting out of hand. They are allowed only ONE room of the house for the take-over and once the fun fizzles, it gets cleaned up. And once in a while the fun doesn't fizzle for days and that gets hard.  But eventually it fizzles and gets put back in order.  This rule fosters their respect for others in the house that need space to live, too (and that the world doesn't revolve around them).  Most importantly, it honors their father by reserving a comfortable, clean living area where he can relax.

This boundary makes it possible for creative messes and order to live harmoniously and the needs of children and parents to be met simultaneously. 

2. Having Routines

God is both orderly and creative ; peaceful and passionate.  His awesome creation speaks of routines everywhere we look.  The seasons routinely give us four delightful courses of weather and wonder in routine succession.  The sun routinely rises each morning and sets each evening.  God's creation is full of routine and order!  But it's never boring.  So it can be with us - made in His image.  A good read on learning more about time management is Emily Barnes books.  She's got wonderful suggestions.  I own her book The 15 Minute Organizer and it's been very helpful. I imagine her other books are great, too.  (A frugal idea: rather than buying a book, see if they're at your local public library! If you really like it after checking it out, then buy it. Then you will only have books on your shelf that you really want. Less clutter!)

I know some people who make excuses for the accumulating chaos in their lives by indicating that routine equals boring.  But routine is simply doing the necessary with regularity which allows room for creativity.  Children especially thrive on routine but boredom should not be tolerated for there is always something worthwhile to do or to learn.

3. Clean Up As You Go

My mom taught me this one and it's pretty self-explanatory. I find it most essential in the kitchen and bathrooms . Cleaning up as we go actually leaves us with more time in our day because it's quicker and easier to clean up a small mess right then than a great, big accumulated mess later on (and for some, later on never arrives).  It just takes a wee bit of discipline.  My kids have learned the rewards of this little idea. 

These practices have worked well to keep our home calm but creative, innovative but orderly, comfortable but energetic, and most importantly, we have a lot of fun. 

Our household routines have become ingrained in all of us and the result is that order and tidiness is the casual 'norm'. The motto "a place for everything and everything in it's place" is not just an old fashioned cliche. It really works.  And when we make places for all our possessions, it is eye opening.  If you can't find a "home" for something, do you really need it?

For example, our shoes have a home in a wooden bench. We keep it by the front door. I'm not a stickler about it, so they often are sitting in front of the bench. But at least they have a place.  Other places for shoes we've used are large baskets and those wooden slatted shoe shelves. I like the bench best because you can sit on it and hides the shoes completely. Browsing craigslist or garage sales will usually turn one up inexpensively.

We have several bookshelves to house all our books, games, framed portraits and knick knacks. A tall, narrow bureau in the foyer houses keys, sunglasses, caps, cell phones,  lint brushes, etc.  Having 'storage furniture' makes it possible to routinely put things away so that things don't get piled up or overwhelming. A little each day and you're on your way.

Chaotic House, Chaotic Minds

When the environment of a home is chaotic, you can be sure the product is a chaotic mind. We can blame the state of a chaotic on too many children or too many messes, but the truth is it's simply a lack of discipline. This is demonstrated when there is energy to create a mess but not the discipline needed to clean it up.  Compounding the issue is simply having too much stuff in which case we need to simply purge unneeded items. 

A good rule of thumb to live by: keep only what you find to be useful, beautiful or meaningful.  Everything else is just baggage that will drag you down and clutter your home and mind.  Paring down does the whole family a favor. Plan a garage sale, donate to charity, offer unused to friends - whatever method you choose, paring down feels like a fresh haircut and results in much simpler living. And that translates to a peaceful home.

A Merry Heart

Proverbs 17:1 says, "Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife."  

I believe this verse reveals the extreme importance of being a cheerful keeper of the home. A meek and gentle spirit can cover many other failings. We don't have to be "perfect" but we be perfectly cheerful, smile at our family and love them.  The radiance that comes from a joyful wife (and mother) is like a room flooded with sunshine - something our family cannot do without.
I've found a few ways to help my kids keep their creativity without sacrificing our home in the process. This means a few things for me: Setting boundaries, having routines, and cleaning up as you go.

How to Get Rid of Anxiety

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