Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Fragrant Home

I love to make my home fragrant. I used to use those commercially scented products that "plug in" and send artificial scents wafting through the air.  But my research led me to learn that these commercial scents use harmful chemicals that are now being linked to illness and disease.  So I steer clear of them.

But there are other alternatives.  Scented candles using natural essential oils work, but can be quite expensive.  A more cost effective way to create a fragrant home is to use the wonderful fragrances that God gave us from nature that smell amazingly good. 

Each home has its own scent.  Some good and some...not so good.  Most of us don't really notice the scent in our own homes because over time, we become accustomed to it. But every home has its own unique aroma.  And naturally, a pleasant (or at least neutral) smelling home is a welcoming home.

Have you ever entered someone elses home and been smacked in the face by its odor? It is extremely unpleasant and uncomfortable to be confined indoors with pungent, lingering odors.

Our homes have the capacity to be wrought with a combination of smells from cooking to just ordinary living.  The main odor culprits come from dirt odors that linger in soiled laundry, garbage cans, carpeting, bedding, diaper pails, etc.  So before adding fragrance to cover up odors, it's important to first eliminate the odors. 
Here are some things we can all do to keep our homes fragrant and welcoming. 
1. Keep the house clean.  Odors linger in dirty places.  Keeping the trash emptied, kitchen clean and the sinks disinfected eliminates odors and allows pleasant fragrances to shine through.

2. Dust regularly. Dusting the furniture and cleaning all silk plants at least once a month by swishing in lukewarm water (laying flat to dry) keeps musty dust at bay.

3. Vacuum regularly. Dust mites and their waste accumulate into carpet fibers along with the odors from shoes, dirty feet, pets, dropped food, etc. Vacuuming and sweeping twice a week will take care of that.

4. Open windows.  Airing out the house each day is big on my list. Indoor air is highly polluted and magnifies all odors associated with living.  We leave them open all day in warmer weather and get a few minutes in very cold weather.  Opening windows at opposite ends of the house will create a cross breeze that will sweep through the house bringing fresh oxygen in and and taking stale air out.

These things create a fresh smelling home.  Now, to add a pleasant fragrance to your home (especially before having guests) simmer natural things.  Orange, lemon or apple peels with a cinnamon stick and a few whole cloves gives off a wonderful scent throughout the house. (Always setting a timer when simmering these and add water as needed. Mini-crock pots work really well for this).  Sprinkling some baking soda in discreet places also helps neutralize odors around the house.  In the bottom of a trash can helps a lot!

I ditched the chemical fragrances years ago and have since gone au natural and you know what?  My house never smelled better.  And we even have a cat!  :)  But most importantly, I'm protecting my family from the adverse health effects caused by associated with those febreeze, air wicks, glade plug-ins, and sprays. 

Vive la cinnamon!

Healthy Kitchen Cleaning

Commercials show us happy women spraying down their counters with chemical cleaners with a smile on their face and magical "sparkles" swirling over the area they wipe.  Women then buy these products thinking they are getting their kitchens really clean. 

But chemical cleaners are not edible so they should never be used to clean an area where they will come in contact with our food.  Microwave interiors, stove tops, cutting boards and especially countertops all need to be cleaned with edible cleaning ingredients - lemons, baking soda and white vinegar are my favorites because they work the best.

To clean the interior of your microwave:
1. Fill a glass measuring cup with water and  2 tablespoons of lemon juice.  
2. Heat and let boil for 5 minutes and wipe out the inside with paper toweling. The exterior can be cleaned with pure vinegar and a sponge. 

Three ways to clean and disinfect a kitchen sponge:
1. Run it in the dishwasher with the dishes OR
2. Microwave it for one minute in the microwave OR
3. Place it in an empty sink and slowly pour a kettle of boiling water over it.

To clean your countertops:
Fill a spray bottle with pure vinegar and keep handy near the kitchen sink.  Mist all over counters and wipe clean with paper towels, kitchen dish cloth or sponge.

To clean your garbage disposal:
To clean grease and leftover food from your disposal and sharpen the blades at teh same time,  sprinkle baking soda liberally into the disposal drain and pour vinegar over it until it foams over.  Let set for 10 minutes. Rinse with hot water.  Put 2 or 3 ice cubes down the disposal and grind.  Rinse again with hot water.

To clean your coffee maker:
At least once a month, fill the carafe half with water and half with white vinegar.  Fill the resevoir and turn the unit on.  Repeat one or two more times if you have some lime and calcium build-up from hard water.  Run a pot of clean water through at least twice to remove all traces of the vinegar and any deposits it loosened.

So ditching the chemical cleaners or saving them for really tough jobs unrelated to freshly made food will help keep your home cleaner AND healthier!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Easy Weeknight Dinner

We all need a good "go to" meal to pull out of our sleeves when pressed for time.  This is the one I use especially when the tortilla chips in the bag are down to small, broken pieces, this is an incredibly easy but tasty supper - Tortilla Soup.  It's super easy to make, the ingredients are healthy and usually in the pantry.  If I have some shredded cheese and sour cream in the refrigerator, I'm golden. :) 

This recipe has a Tex-Mex flavor and the beauty of it is it can be made fancy or plain depending on how many ingredients are on hand or to personal preferences.  You can play around with the amounts of liquid to your own liking as well (more liquid for thinner soup, less for thicker).

Tortilla Soup
(serves 4)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • equal amount water or chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa (or as much as you like)
  • 2 cups broken tortilla chips
  • 1 can of diced green chiles (optional)
  • 1 can of corn (optional)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (optional)
  • a few sprinkles of cumin, red chili powder (optional)
  • Garnishes (optional) shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions, fresh tomato, sliced black olives, fresh cilantro, diced onions, diced jalepeno peppers.
Cook and stir all ingredients except chips in a sauce pan until heated through. Place tortilla chips in each person's bowl and pour soup on top. And garnish if desired.
Tip: Do NOT add salt.  The tortilla chips have plenty to season the soup.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Kitchen Shortcuts with a Mixer

Do you have a Kitchen Aid Mixer?  My husband got me one about 3 years ago.  I honestly thought it would probably just sit there and was only for making cookie dough. But, wow, was I wrong!  I have found tons of ways that this machine has saved me time and labor in the kitchen.

If you buy premade pie dough, you can save money by making it in a mixer. I only discovered this one about a year ago.  I always hated making pie crust from scratch because you had to "cut" in all that butter. So one day I gave this machine a try at doing it for me and I was so pleased with the results.  I used the batter attachment to do the cutting and now pie crusts are a breeze. 

 Just put in the flour and add your diced butter and let it cut the butter till it's incorporated into the flour. Then get a glass of ice water and add one tablespoon at a time and mix on low until the dough comes together nicely. Don't overmix or it will be tough. The best pie crusts are flaky and the secret is to mix as little as possible. A tablespoon of white vinegar will also help with flakiness.

The same beater blade will shredd cooked chicken!  After I cook some boneless, skinless chicken and need it shredded for making enchiladas, pot pie or soup, I put the meat in the bowl hot and WHOLE and begin mixing with the beater blade on low.  In a minute or two, the meat is shredded beautifully. (I increase the speed just a little as I go.)

The job of mixing meatloaf was also one of my dreads, but not anymore. (I hate mixing meat with my bare hands. Now I just throw all the ingredients in my mixer and let it run.  I use a spatula to sort of gather the meatloaf in a ball inside the bowl and ease the lump into my meatloaf pan without my hands ever touching the meat. 

I also use my mixer to make bread.  When I first tried this, I was SO dissapointed!  My bread maker had broken and I was going to try to use my mixer for it.  The directions said it could do it.  But when I tried it, the dough was sticking to the bowl like batter.  Finally, after learning more about the art of bread making, I discovered that just adding a little flour as it mixed would "pull" the wet dough off the sides until it had "cleaned" the sides of the bowl and was a real lump of smooth, elastic bread dough. 
So if you don't have a mixer yet, put it on your wish list or scan craigslist for someone who's moving and has to get rid of theirs. They are worth every penny and will save you a lot of labor.  I wish I'd let my husband get me one years ago like he wanted to.  I thought I'd never use it.  Was I ever wrong!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Skin Care - Getting That Dewy Glow

Soft, moisture rich skin is just beautiful. Dewy skin has become the latest style in the beauty industry which is great because it is a very natural and healthy look as opposed to the caked on make up look of years past. I do not follow trends, but this is one I can actually get behind!

Skin is a living organ and needs to be cleansed and exfoliated before it even has the potential for looking beautiful.  Our faces can accumulate dirt and dead skin cells so very quickly and without exfoliating at least once a week (2-3 times is better) the complexion takes on a dull, dingy, dry appearance. Not pretty!  :)

So to get the skin looking it's best, start by cleaning it naturally.  For a good natural cleanser/exfoliate mix together 1 Tablespoon of citrus juice (orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit) and 1 Tablespoon baking soda. 

The citrus has alpha hydroxy acids that clean the pores and exfoliate and brighten the skin.  Baking soda is mildly acidic and the tiny grains are great at sloughing away dead skin cells.  This mask will tingle on sensitive areas like around the nose and lips. It will also begin to dry and crack when you talk.  Be patient. Wait about 5 minutes then rinse thoroughly.

To get a dewy, healthy glow mix 1 teaspoon raw honey with 1 teaspoon aloe vera juice and spread evenly all over the face (and neck if you're in the bathtub).  Wait 15 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. 

Raw honey locks in moisture, and fights bacteria that causes breakouts. Aloe Vera is a natural humectant that delivers vital moisture deeply through all layers of skin.  This combination will deliver beautiful, clear, glowing skin. 

If you don't have these ingredients on hand, then virgin coconut oil works wonders, too. Especially if you have dry skin or live in a dry climate as I do.  Just smooth some pure coconut oil over your freshly cleaned face and you'll be amazed at how it is absorbed so quickly. I have noticed absolutely no "oily" residues. It makes my skin noticably soft and my husband loves it.  Coconut oil is also antibacterial so it reduces breakouts while delivering vital moisture. Win-win! :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Gift of Hospitality - Part 1

Hospitality, the generous sharing of food and shelter, is commonly called "entertaining" today.  I think God put inside women a special gift toward hospitality.  I remember as a little girl spending many hours playing hostess, pouring tea and practicing hospitality and taking care of people.  

Everyone has their own ideas of how to "entertain" - we invite friends or family over, clean up the house, plan the meal, remind our children of their manners, and if the occasion calls for it, dress a little nicer.  But  the bible says that there is more to hospitality than this. 

Let's look at the verses where the actual word hospitality is used in scripture one by one.

1. Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.  - Romans 12:13-14

The truth is that people thirst for fellowship at these simple levels.  Blessing, rejoicing and weeping constitute true hospitality. We all go through trials and tribulations and it's important to not only be honest about our own sorrows, but willing to let other's be genuine, too.  There's immeasurable comfort in weeping with someone through difficult times.

2. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach. -1 Timothy 3:2

But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate. -Titus 1:8

When I read these verses my first thought is: do I make it easy for my husband to be "given to and a lover of hospitality"?  Does he know that he can bring company home any time?  I actually had to tell my husband this was fine. Which really keeps me on my toes.  We can use the inspiration of company coming over at any moment to be more motivated in keeping our homes clean, pretty and welcoming so that we're ready to serve our guests.  We never know when God will want to use our hospitality as a refuge and blessing to others - even angels unawares.   
4. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 1 Peter 4:9

Isn't that an interesting verse?  Use hospitality.  This indicates that hospitality is a tool or a means to an end. What are we to use hospitality for?  Reading further, we find out:

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. -1 Peter 4:10

The answer? To minister to one another. We also see here that in doing so, we are being "good stewards" of the unspeakable grace of God.  We extend his grace toward others when we are being hospitable.  That takes care of the what.  How about the why?

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11

When we give hospitality, God is glorified through Christ!  Isn't that beautiful?  Just by doing what we are inclined to do anyway - share our food and home and entertain others - brings glory to God!

And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. Acts 2:46

This is the record of the early church in the book of Acts.  They ate in one another's homes with gladness and unity. We don't need to worry about serving fancy food.  We can serve simple (but good) food to our guests and concentrate our efforts in ministering to them the Love of God.

When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. -Luke 14:12-14

We can sermonize this passage into the "poor in spirit", "blind to sin", "maimed/broken hearted" or even "lame-brained" but I don't see anything symbolic in this passage.  Jesus is telling us to invite people who are literally blind, poverty stricken, physically challenged and disfigured. How many of these people are being ministered to?   How many of these poor, shunned souls are we showing hospitality to? 

We need to ask the Lord who he would have us invite into our homes to minister the light and love of the Saviour to. And ask the Holy Spirit to prepare our hearts and homes to do so.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:4

Whether we serve small dinners, lively buffets or just dessert and coffee, we should always be willing to show hospitality and never be put out by serving others. God promises us a great reward.

In the next installment, we'll discuss some more practical applications of hospitality like how to prepare for guests, crowd pleasing meals and glorififying God through our home's atmosphere.  As well as a very neglected aspect of hospitality, how to be a good guest!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Perfect Granola

I have made this granola recipe many times and I'm pleased every time.  I like the kind of granola that clumps up beautifully - just like store bought.  If you like your granola clumpy, this is the one. The secret is rice flour. (I use Bob's Red Mills brand.)
How to Make Perfect Granola

Mix together in a large bowl
4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon real salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a medium size bowl, mix until smooth:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour the wet ingredients onto the dry and mix very thoroughly.  Spread onto a big cookie sheet (jelly roll pan).
Bake at 315° in 10 minute increments.  Check every 10 minutes but do NOT stir.  If you make a double batch, switch your top and bottom baking sheets after each 10 minutes. Bake until goldend.  Mine usually takes around 40 minutes, but I'm at an altitude of 6,000 feet so you may need to adjust for that.  Things take a bit longer to cook at high altitudes.  Let cool and then turn onto a sheet of wax paper.  Break up the clumps as desired. Store in an airtight container.  Enjoy this delicious, clumpy granola!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How I Make Homemade Pancake Syrup

The price of real maple syrup is out of my budget range, and I don't like the ingredients in store bought imitation syrups, so I make my own at home.  It's not hard to do and only takes a few minutes and some pretty simple ingredients.

1 and 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 and 1/2 cups water
3/4 cups light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extracrt
1 teaspoon maple flavoring (optional but good)

In a saucepan, combine the sugars, water and corn syrup; bring to a boil over medium heat.  Boil for 7 minutes or until sightly thickened.  Remove from the heat; stir in maple flavoring and vanilla.  Cool for 15 minutes.  Serve over pancakes, waffles or French toast. This recipe makes about 3 cups. Store in the refrigerator. Keeps for weeks!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

The crisp and colorful days of autumn are almost here! I just love fall. The aroma's are so enthralling. In fact, I can almost smell the smoky roof tops!  Why am I talking about fall when the title of this post is about Christmas? Because now is the time to start preparing for the holidays by making homemade gifts!  Homemade gifts my favorite but they do take some time and planning. 
I love giving and recieving gifts hot homemade bread and jars of preservers.   A freshly baked loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, apple strudel, cinnamon buns, or even a basket of blueberry muffins are great gifts that the people use, enjoy and appreciate.  Other goodies include framed scriptures, glass-bead jewelry and homemade herbal products like facial scrubs, bath salts, medicinal syrups, tinctures and small potted herbs.
Here are some great themed gift baskets ideas. A wonderful way to give meaningful gifts!

Merry Marriage Basket
A couple of scented candles
Box of chocolates
Imported cheese
Box of good crackers
Bottle of Wine
2 Wine glasses

Basket of snacks
Jar of homemade hot mustard
Jar of honey mustard
Jar of sauerkraut
Jar of pickled turnips or pickles
A few tins of Sardines
Toasty seed crackers
Tin of homemade cookies

Basket of Health
Bilberry Tonic
Sleep Sweet Tonic
Sore Muscle Rub
Chapped skin salve
Spicy Tea blends and a mug.

Comfort Basket
Bath Salt Blend
Massage Oil
Skin Salve
Tea and Mug

A Treat Basket
2 or 3 small jars of homemade Jams
Whipped Honey Butter
A fresh loaf of Wheat bread
Fresh loaf of Banana Bread
Cookies or Brownies
Tea blends and a mug

Spending money on store bought Christmas gifts has it's place and is really appropriate if there's an actual need to fill, such as a musical instrument, baseball bat, electronic gadget, etc. But isn't it wonderful to get our families together and give from our talents and hearts?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Rewards of Eating Together as a Family

I love eating together as a family.  The majority of my childhood dinner memories are eating on tv trays in front of the tv. :(  But I have sought something better for my own family.  I love a nice dinner and the wonderful promise that the family meal table holds: good food, good conversation and the warm memories. 
Sometimes our dinners at the table are full of exciting stories of the day or anticipation for an upcoming event. Sometimes they are quiet and peaceful with lovely melodies playing softly in the background.  Once in a great while we just have a prepared chicken dinner from the grocery store deli.  And sometimes it's just some oatmeal and fruit.  The food is not so important as the fact that we are together smiling, conversing and enjoying one another.

There were even times when we've had no table to eat on.  Just a picnic blanket at the park, on the beach and sometimes gypsy style on our laps in the car or a hotel room. But we still had the most important element - each other. 

I love knowing that my children will have happy memories of eating together as a family where our hearts were knit together.  Dinners together also allow the children to hear about Dad's day and that helps them appreciate and understand all that he does to provide and care for his family.  It also provides a place for teaching and exampling good manners, both at table and in general.

Of course most of our meals are home cooked by me.  I love knowing the basis of our familiy's diet is real food. Dining out is a rare treat.
The Way to a Man's Heart is Through His Stomach

Last night I made chili, hand cut oven fries and rasberry danish - all homemade. My husband and sons raved about each dish which was so kind of them.  I always appreciate their praise and gratitude.  Early in our marriage, all I really knew how to cook had directions on the box, bag or package. In those days I would have used canned chili, frozen french fries and store bought danish.  But the extra work involved in giving them a good meal without preservatives and ingredients I can't pronounce is worth it to me.  And with a properly set up and stocked kitchen, it is not that time consuming.  Just takes a little planning.

A Set Table is a Welcoming Table

When I have time I like to set a nice table and put on a tablecloth, cloth napkins (homemade ones are easy and inexpensive to make) candles and flowers. Any centerpiece will do really.  When children are little, they can even choose the centerpiece - a stuffed animal, a few prized rocks on a pretty dish. The only limit is their imagination. Just a few simple items magically transform an ordinary evening into something special.  A special occasion is not required in order to sit down to a nicely set dinner table.

Preparing a nice meal your family will enjoy and setting the dinner table is a sure way to bring your family closer together and create memories that will last a lifetime.  Make or collect a few tablecloths, cloth napkins, candlesticks and vases and keep them clean and handy. I love the way a tablecloth feels when resting my arms on it at a meal. Glassware, cutlery and serving dishes have a more hushed tone when moved about as they fall on a cloth rather than the sharper sound of the bare table.  Setting out a tablecloth just puts a more important note on the family meal.

Quality Time vs. Quantity Time

If a family can't sit down together for dinner most nights, then I'd say their schedule needs to be adjusted to make it possible. It's that important. Research shows that kids who grow up eating together at the family table have been shown to get better nutrition and are better adjusted emotionally among other things. The modern talk about "quality time" spent with our children is a hoax designed to ease the consciences of those who spend mere minutes per day in face to face company with their children. All children need quantity time, without which there can be no quality.

The acts of keeping the home are so very important.  They are the foundation from which stability is produced in our children.  A mother at home, training, working, laughing and managing the home is a true comfort.  Those who grow up without that stability,find a hollowness inside that longs to be filled.  If that's you, you can fill it in your own home right now, today. 

So always keep in mind the extreme importance of your home atmosphere and environment and seek to make a pleasant one. It is creating and shaping who your children will turn out to be.  And what better way to end the day than a cozy meal together at your own table?

I'm excited to be adding an element of fun to our dinners this year with dinnertime conversation and quizzes.  I typed up several fun and interesting questions in microsoft word.  I cut each question to business card size and placed them in a little business card holder I bought from an office supply store.  Keeping it at the center of our table makes it easy to use during dinner.  I think these will be a lot of fun and stir up more interesting conversation for us all. There are also products available with ready made questions that you can buy or you could just think up some on your own.  I think it's more fun, though, to think up my own.

Whatever you do, I encourage you to make your family meal table something your family will look forward to anticipation and one day look back on with warm memories.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work

I had an interesting experience with both unkindness and kindness last night in rapid succession. I drove to the grocery store to pick up a package of pepperoni for our homemade pizza dinner. As soon as I stepped out of my car, a woman, visibly angry, approached me while her husband, visibly embarrassed, hung back behind her.

She asked me if I'd seen their turn signal for the parking spot I'd just taken and the stop sign at the store entry crosswalk (where both our vehicles faced one another. I looked over and sure enough - there, to my amazement, was a stop sign. I hadn't seen it all all. When did they start putting stop signs at supermarket crosswalks? I told her no, I hadn't seen it at all and I was sorry.

I offered her a sincere and apologetic smile and she just scowled at me and slithered back to her husband, who I think was hiding. It seems to me this wasn't the fist time she'd humiliated him like this. If they hadn't gotten a parking spot one space over from me, I think she might have had me arrested.

As I walked into the store, feeling slightly shaken, I felt a gentle touch on my arm as a woman said to me softly, "That's okay, dear. I always hope that those kind of people never make a mistake!" Her kindness was so consoling after the toxic woman I'd just encountered.

I felt so sorry for the husband of that disgruntled, angry, unsatisfied, unthankful woman. She had no peace and gave no grace. Grace goes such a long, long way in this world. And what we sow, we reap.

The Lord says "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matt 7:2

Patience with people and situations comes from the peace of God.  When it flows through me onto others-  even if they are unkind to me - I stand in amazement at the work of God in my life. This is what apostle Paul explained about the hope that comes from the experience that comes from patience that tribulation brings.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Isn't that an awesome scripture!? When we go through a trial, patience is worked. It makes me think of the way we work yeast into bread as we knead it.  But it doesn't stop there. Patience works experience. When we learn the wonderful faithfulness of our God who never changes. And our experience with tribulation and God's faithfulness to us in response to it, brings hope. And that kind of hope will not make us ashamed! :)

This lady all steamed up at me was miniscule in comparison to most of the tribulations I've encountered. But I wanted to share that even in those "little things" we can be overcomers. So when tribulations come along we can "let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Matt 5:44

Thursday, September 1, 2011

About Me

I am a born again, bible believing, free and forgiven follower of Jesus Christ.  

I believe the
sixty-six books of the King James Version, nothing added or deleted, constitute the whole of Scripture "given by inspiration of God" to English speaking people.

I believe in the pre-tribulational, pre-millennial rapture of the church, and the post-tribulational, pre-millennial return of Christ (1 Thess. 4:13 - 18; Mat. 24; Rev. 4:1 - 20:15).

I believe that the love of God was manifest in ONE act on the blood-stained cross of calvary where Jesus Christ paid for the sins of all humanity past and present. All sinners must "do" is believe on him. (John 6:28-29) as evidenced and represented by the two convicts on the crosses on either side of Jesus. The one believed and was saved (without water baptism). The other did not believe and was damned.

I believe in a literal, burning hell where the damned will eternally suffer for their sin (Matt 25:41-46;  Mark 9:43-48;  Luke 16:19-26;  2 Thess. 1:7-9;  Jude 6-7; Rev. 20:11-15)

I believe in a literal, physical place called Heaven where God resides with an innumerable company of Cherubim, Living Creatures, Angels, and the redeemed of God (Luke: 23:43;  2 Cor 5:8;  Phil 1:23;  I Thess. 4:16-17;  Rev 20:4-6). 

I believe that segregation of children from their parents, be it secular (public schools & programs) or religious (church programs, youth groups and youth “missions”) violates scripture and thwarts the family unit.

I believe that the education of children falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents and the most natural, beneficial and healthy environment for a child's education is derived at home. (Deut 6:5-8; Deut 11:18-20; Psa 1:1-2; Pr 6:20-23)

I believe that the true believer’s life is marked by charity. (1 Cor 13)

I  believe well done is better than well said.
I love using natural health alternatives to modern medicine.

I believe anyone who routinely solicits others to believe them only do so because they cannot always be believed.  (Ex: "I promise! You've got to believe me!  I swear!" etc.  Matt 5:37)

I am profoundly grateful for my husband, children and home which guides my behavior, my habits, my housekeeping and how I spend my time.

I believe nothing reduces anxiety or depression faster than prayer and action.

I admire people who are well spoken and use proper American English. Invented words (like "ginormous") are, to me, a sad reminder of the educational downfall of this country. 

We have no tv service, but sometimes watch a dvd. My guilty pleasures are 50's American family sitcoms and similar b/w movies. I delight to hear the coherent English they spoke (most of the time) and seeing the family unit when it was still common to eat together and wear dresses and ties. Just love that. :)  (Minus the fact that they sent their kids off to public shcool.) The early seasons of the Donna Reed Show and I Love Lucy are my "Calgon".

My favorite home décor styles are - big surprise - from the 50’s.  My décor prerequisites are FFF – frugal, functional and fabulous. :)

I enjoy cooking and love to “wow” my family with one-of-kind meals and desserts.

I have been brought into 21st century technology "kicking and screaming". I'm an old fashioned girl.
I intensely dislike the "facebook and texting" age we are in (won't do it!).
I believe that emails are not appropriate substitutions for a phone call when it comes to invitations or birthday and Christmas greetings.

I got eye glasses (very low prescription) a year ago and I miss being able to see well from a distance.
I have been chastened and trained by my heavenly father (confirming to me I am His) which causes me to grow deeper in my faith in and love for Him.

I often marvel at all that God deems me capable of.

I believe we mustn’t question why sorrows come to us unless we are also willing to do so for every moment of happiness. When trials come, God has literally taught me to say, "It is well with my soul" and "not my will but thine be done" even when done through agonizing tears.  The Lord is good and his mercies endure forever!

I have known the unspeakable sorrow of seeing all of my children hospitalized at different times and known the depths of despair when the shadow of death hovered over one of them as I rode with them to the hospital in an ambulance.

I have survived slander, rejection, gossip and lies based on the ignorance and jealousy of one person.  

I believe that there are times when silence has the loudest voice.

My parents were travelling musicians for the first three years of my life which is probably why I have travelling in my blood. I love a good road trip!

Growing up, my family performed musically together in churches periodically.

I have lived in six of the 50 states and traveled through or visited over 30.

I believe family pets belong and are happiest outside. I made a sacrificial exception (for our children) with our indoor-only, white fluffy furball cat named Dublin. He’s a pretty clean little fella.

I adore children and would protect and keep each and every one safe from harm if I could physically and financially do so.

I can’t think straight in messy surroundings. This is a motivating factor for me in keeping my home organized, clean and lovely.

I am very frugal and really enjoy good bargains.

I love antiques.

I love to sing and I play a little bit of guitar and piano.

I love to laugh.

I love being feminine and lady-like but also am capable of very hard work.
So there's a little more about me - I hope you enjoyed the glimpse! :)