Thursday, December 27, 2012

Host A Game Night

In my family, we love playing all kinds of games. From board and card games to made up games and charades.  Games are such a great way to connect as a family and they are amazingly educational, too.  Kids (and adults!) learn so many thing from games. 

To name just a few:

  • Waiting their turn promotes patience
  • Sequential concepts
  • instant results from decisions made
  • sensory perception
  • social development
  • dealing with limits promotes self-control


When children engage with others in a game, they have to learn that even in the excitement and intensity of a close match, they still have to submit to the limits and boundaries of rules and regulations. An important life lesson!  When kids develop a sense of fair play early on, they end up "way of ahead of the game".  ha :) 





The other night we invited three families over to our home for an evening of games and dessert and it was so much fun, we are hoping to do it regularly.  

I made two pies and a pot of coffee and then set out pretty Christmas paper plates, red cocktail napkins, a beverage dispenser with lemon ice water inside and plastic cups.  When our guests arrived, we greeted them warmly at the door, took their coats and ushered them into the kitchen.  

We served up the desserts and enjoyed friendly fellowship for a bit. The younger kids ate theirs in the kitchen and then went into the family room to play a stack of games. I think they played Apples to Apples, Sorry and In a Pickle. 

The adults and older kids took their refreshments to the dining room table where we played a board game called Balderdash.  (We have the older edition which we like much better than the modern one.)

Our invitation specified a starting time of 7 and an ending time of 9:30pm-ish to give our guests an idea of time perimeters.  We ended up finishing up around 10pm. 

This was so much fun. We hope to host more game night in the coming months and if we do, I think I'll also put out a big bowl of popcorn, too.  

Have you ever hosted a game night in your home?  

Friday, December 21, 2012

Weeds That Feed

I am constantly amazed at what God has provided to the 'simple'.  He has literally surrounded us by healing plants and herbs.  I've travelled the United States extensively and I've spotted wild growing herbs like Plantain, Mullein and Dandelion all over the place. Just those three little herbs represent amazing healing power.  

Natural remedies may take a little longer than our instant drive-through generation can tolerate, but I would rather let my body heal well, than injure my liver and only mask illness.  Which is all what pharma-chemicals do.  Nevertheless, I've noticed that those who use herbs and natural remedies are looked on as simpletons. 


But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  James 3:17

Even still, the fact remains that more people are sick, diseased and dying than ever before and unfortunately, among the causes are modern 'medicine'.  

A hundred years ago, many of our great grandparents knew about herbs and natural remedies and lived longer, healthier lives.  They wouldn't run to walmart for cough syrup, they sliced up an onion into sugar.  When fever struck, they knew it wasn't an Acetaminophen deficiency. Most of them used cold compresses and patience. Some lowered their temperatures with egg whites.  

But today, we have become a nation of fools who are obsessed with entertainment, instant gratification, constant communication and status updates.  How ironic that this era is called 'information' age when so few have any worthwhile information!  


This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly sensual, devilish.  ~ James 3:15

The humble garlic clove, for example, remains one of the most powerful antioxidants, antivirals and antimicrobials available. And it's one of the most affordable remedies of all at just pennies a head. It's healing abilities have been documented to kill the strongest strains of bacteria faster than the toughest pharma antibiotics. 


 

We've had times when I've resorted to Tylenol on a child with a scary fever.  But it was just that - a last resort and used with all gravity.  Taking pharma drugs is a dangerous alternative and I exercise extreme caution every time. 
For example, did you know that Ibuprophin can cause kidney failure if you are not hydrated sufficiently? Children are at the highest risk.  

I am no herbal expert.  I'm just a student of life and learning and stand in awe at the amazing gifts of God.  Taking time to learn about just a few natural healing methods is an investment that yields far reaching returns.   

Want to purify your liver?  Look no further than the humble Dandelion.




Want to reduce inflammation?  Turmeric is a powerful weapon. 


Need to reduce a fever?  Try brushing raw egg whites on the bottoms of the feet.


Insect sting? Pack Plantain leaves onto the wound.


Treat a bad cough?  Try Mullein.  Steam it for a dry cough, burn it and inhale the incense for a wet cough.  Breathing in Eucalyptus oil is also very effective. 





Sprained a ligament?  Soak it in epsom salts and hot water.

These are just a handful of things I've learned and used over the years that I've had success with.  Every person and every situation will be different so you will have to use caution and your own trial and error. 

If you use natural remedies, what are some of your favorites?  I am always looking to expand my base of knowledge and would love to hear your experiences!



Medical disclaimer:
The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.  I can't provide you with medical advice, dosage information, potential drug/herb reactions, or assistance with questions relating to injury, illness, etc.  I'm not a licensed practitioner, pharmacist or researcher. Information on this website has not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The information on this website is not presented with the intention of diagnosing any disease and promotion of good health and cooperation with a licensed medical practitioner. 

Just because a small amount of an herb works well does NOT mean that more is better. As individuals, we all have different constitutions, sensitivities, allergic retains and possible health conditions that require personal responsibility for the health care decisions we make for ourselves and our families. Consult your physician for diagnosis. 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Our ThanksGiving Day

I really love celebrating Thanksgiving Day. I have a thankful heart and this holiday is closest to the most God honoring holiday that exists.  We all have SO much to be thankful for! Did you know that the word "thanks" appears in the King James Bible exactly 500 times?  We should be thankful every day and not just on Thanksgiving.  But it's great to take a day just for thanking God, isn't it?

Sticky Situation

This year we decided to invite a couple of families from church to share Thanksgiving Dinner with us in our home, but neither family gave us a firm answer and it was going on 10 days since I'd asked them.  They may not have realized that leaving an invitation to a major holiday in the air for so long is actually very rude (and a bit insulting), but we needed to solidify our plans so I would know how much food to buy.


Good Etiquette + Prayer = Blessings

We prayed about it and just when I was going to call these two families to get a definite answer, some friends of ours called us late in the evening (about 8:30p) and invited us to spend Thanksgiving day with them. We were all so excited to get this invitation because we had spent Thanksgiving with them last year and had a wonderful time and were sort of hoping we could do it again this year.  But because I had two families to do a final check with first, I told her I'd give her a definite answer the next day.  


The next day, in the span of 30 minutes, both of the ladies from the families we'd invited to our home for Thanksgiving called me with favors to ask (one for babysitting and the other for a ride to the airport, which I was happy to oblige them both on).  During our phone conversation, I waited to see if either one would mention the very-soon-approaching holiday invitation I had given them and neither did.  So I had to.  I told them since I hadn't heard back from them about whether they were able to join us or not, we accepted an invitation to a friend's house for the holiday.  They were both fine about it, so all was well again.

With that issue behind us, I felt relieved that I did not have to all the cooking this year and that we would be able to share the holiday with some good friends again.


No Movies or TV on Thanksgiving

We never include television or movies on Thanksgiving which I really am thankful for. It is with us enough in life, and I am so glad that we never include it on our day dedicated to thanking the Lord.  

We brought a couple of sides to share and had a great day of fellowship.  Dinner was around 1pm and we had turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry applesauce, green bean casserole, rolls, pumpkin cheesecake, apple crumb pie and cherry lattice pie.   After dinner, we all walked down to the local playground for a fun game of foursquare.  Later on we gathered to sing some hymns and chat.

Last year we also cooked our own turkey with all the trimmings the day after Thanksgiving so that we could have the benefit of delicious leftovers all week, but this year I decided not to because I've been dealing with some tendonitis in my right elbow so it would be too difficult.

So instead, we will do a fancier Christmas dinner this year.  Usually we have a really good meal for Christmas but not the super fancy holiday style meal (similar to Thanksgiving).  So that's the plan.  Maybe we'll even get to host some friends this year. We'll see.

Right now, it's time to pack up all the fall decorations and put up the Christmas cheer!  I'm so excited to decorate my new living room this year!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Homeschool and Life

When my children were little, we were home most of the time.  We didn't know any other homeschoolers and we didn't belong to a homeschool group. I wanted to find one for the social needs of my oldest who is now grown and married, but I came up empty handed no matter how much I searched.  So she ended up missing out on some of the things I would have liked for her.  Like a keepers at home group for girls that so many homeschool groups are starting nowadays.  She would have loved that.  But since we didn't really have that opportunity, I tried to provide her with as much as I could myself.  

My other children are boys and in their teens and they have a whole other need. Boys were not made to sit at home cooking, cleaning and knitting with mother.  God gave boys the desire to conquer. Their needs are opposite that of girls.  And once they pass puberty, it is a definite NEED for them to have some sort of life outside of mama's skirt.  I always chuckle quietly to myself when I meet moms of kids under 12 and their short sighted vision of keeping their kids influence-free.  The cloistered homeschool family is unhealthy because they mistakenly think that shielding their children from others until the wedding bells chime will somehow prevent their children from any exposure to evil.  Or perhaps limiting their exposure as much as possible.  

I am all in favor of limiting evil influences and protecting my children.  But parents need to understand that even if a child grew up without any evil influences at all, he would still be in danger because evil lurks within.  Not one of us can escape the resident lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life. 

I kept my children close to me and very, very protected all of their grade school years.  Even around family members.  I have always been the most careful, overprotective mother you'd ever meet.  But at the same time, I was constantly letting out the ties little by little. You can't just keep them close and then one day when they turn 18 let them l discover the world around them.

Some moms will say, "My kids discover plenty around the house with me."  Ok, that is fine.  I was my children's best friend, too.  We are a tight knit family and always have been.  But a mother's need and the needs of her children are two very different things.  Some mothers have high social needs and you will see them OVER doing the social thing and way too early.  Other moms are homebodies and they are the ones who enjoy just being home, keeping home, cooking, cleaning, not big on social functions, etc.  

In both cases, the mother who doesn't learn to see her children as individuals with God given needs and desires misses the mark.  Providing outlets for the needs of each family member is quite the balancing act.  But either way, after puberty hits, kids need to start flapping their wings a little.  Providing them with opportunities to play, compete and have some carefully controlled adventures with other homeschooling families is absolutely essential to their happiness and well being at home.  

Some of the most miserable homeschooling kids I've ever seen were teens who had no adventure, no friendships or acquaintances, no vision or goal.  The Bible says where there is no vision, the people perish.  Think of how that older child feels.  Teens have all the drive and determination of an adult but in an immature and untested body and mind.  They need space to spread their wings and give and contribute to the world around them.

What to do?

Getting kids involved in helping with charities, missionaries and evangelism is good. But they also need  fun stuff, too.  My boys are 13 and 16 and we have added quite a bit of outside activities to our plate this year, more than any of the previous years combined.  And they are thriving.  They spend one hour on Wednesdays playing field games like kickball, dodgeball, volleyball, etc with a group of other Christian homeschoolers. They spend 3 hours on Tuesdays in a Christian Speech and Debate club run by some good friends of ours.  And they are starting their own Chess Club for boys 12-19.  The meetings are at our house and we are hoping it will provide them with the opportunity to form some Godly friendships and camaraderie.

Eventually, I would like to see each of my boys go on a real evangelistic mission where they will be able to take the gospel of Christ to those who've never heard.  But if they don't start wading in the water now, they will never be ready when the opportunity comes along.  

So I see two extremes:

1. homeschooling families that hole away from the world producing socially inept, insecure kids.

2. homeschooling families who are practically taxi drivers constantly on the go with activities for every child. 

I've known both of these groups to also be outspoken and adamant in their positions to the point of being on the rude side.  Those who seek balance as I do are typically quiet and peacefully go on their way.  We do not sell our life to others nor do we apologize for it.  Our children are well adjusted and genuinely happy because that is the normal result from a balanced life. 

I refrain from telling others what to do unless they seek me out for counsel or guidance.  But I will share what I do that works for me when/if I'm asked.  This blog post is not meant to tell you what to do, just to share my observations and experiences.

But what I would really like to see more homeschooling moms who are looking to God and their husbands for counsel and guidance.  That's the best place to start. After you know the general direction you're going, God always seems to provide those who trust in him with the right opportunities and help. 
And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. (Isaiah 30:21 KJV)
For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. (Psalms 48:14 KJV)
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. (Psalms 37:23 KJV)
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV)
And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them. (Isaiah 42:16 KJV)

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Clean for the Holidays






    November is here! Are you getting ready for the holidays? Getting the house cleaned up before company arrives, or parties begin, can be a bit overwhelming, so I always try to start early making sure there is "a place for everything and everything is in its place".  A few tips:

    De-clutter before you clean.  

    Cleaning is a chore all by itself, but when there is tidying, pick up, and de-cluttering to do at the same time as dusting, scrubbing, and mopping, it can be overwhelming.  If that's the case, I think it's advantageous to just tidy, pick up, and de-clutter on one day and leave off cleaning till the next.  One day can just be "trash & tidy" day where you take time to put things up, throw out trash, tidy up corners, table tops, toy areas, shoes and clothing, newspapers, dishes, etc.  It can actually make you feel better when you SEE how nice everything looks. 

    Next Comes Cleaning 

    Save the cleaning for the next day and then only clean.  The picking up and tidying is already done.  Now you can focus your time and energy on the washing, vacuuming, and dusting.

    First, look UP. If you see cobwebs dangling from the the ceilings, chandeliers and corners of the walls, you can take care of them with a telescopic duster.  If you don't have anything fancy, just use a broom covered with a kitchen towel.  Our house looks homey when every eye level surface is dusted and polished. And it's okay to leave super high and super low places that are hard to reach and less visible for spring cleaning.  They tend to be much more labor intensive and time-consuming.  

    Prioritize

    If you've got a little get-together, or company coming this weekend and you don't have time to clean everything,  just spend the next two days de-cluttering and hitting the basics (floors, dusting, and bathrooms).  Tackle what you know you have time for, where the results are most visible, rather than attempt more than you can do and get frustrated before you even start. :-) 

    My favorite tool for dusting flat surfaces like end tables, and dining room tables is a microfiber dust cloth because it grabs and holds the dust. I get it slightly damp first and it works even better.  And for tables with inset glass, a streak-free glass cleaner makes the job faster so you don't waste precious time buffing out hopeless streaks. 

    For floors, I must say that a new cleaner I found at Walmart called "Bona" worked extremely well.  I'm not a fan of chemical cleaners and usually clean with natural ingredients (vinegar, lemon, baking soda) the majority of the time.  But for an extra boost of shine, Bona's the way to go.


    Most importantly, whether you're cleaning just for you or entertaining friends and family, enjoy your clean house!  There is nothing so delightful and soul soothing as a clean and cozy home.

    Friday, October 26, 2012

    Being Where You Should Be

    As I think about the recent horrific shooting in Colorado, a particular thought keeps coming to mind.  Many died that night because they chose to patronize a dark film in a dark theater at dark midnight rather than being at home sleeping peacefully in their beds.  In other words, where they should have been.  


    I feel a strong urge to keep myself and my children where we are supposed to be at any given time.  I choose our activities carefully and always seek my husband's thoughts on the matter, too. There have been many times that I've been absolutely certain that God has protected me through my husband.  So when he expresses a preference about where we go or who we go with, even if it seems trivial, I'm careful not to just toss it aside even if it seems insignificant.


    Wrong Place Wrong Time

    The victims of a shooting are not to blame so please don't misconstrue what I'm saying.  It's just that, in this instance, had those people not wanted to go to a midnight showing to see an ungodly movie, and had instead chosen to be home that night, they'd still be alive.  (Theoretically, anyway.) 

    It is similar with the Columbine shooting victims, only that one rests squarely on the shoulders of the parents sending their children off to their "good school" to be "educated" where they were subjected to the rampage of madmen.  Not one homeschooler was killed on that dark day because their parents saw to it that they were where they should be: at home. 

    Q: What about 911? Were those people "wrong" for taking a flight? 

    A: It's one thing to have no choice when a freak accident occurs.  It's another to be somewhere when a tragedy occurs and you didn't really need to be there.  Or actually, you really shouldn't have been there.  

    Q: What about acts of God, like a tornados, cyclones, volcano eruptions and hurricanes? 

    A: In my humble opinion, it's better to meet death or tragedy while being where you are supposed to be, than being in a tragedy where you really ought not to be.  People at home in a tornado/hurricane/fire, etc - these can't be helped.  I believe that in those instances, God's hand is clear.  But people in a movie theater, to see a dark movie, at midnight - that was a choice.  With deadly consequences.  No one can say, "It couldn't be helped".  I believe it could have been helped.  


    For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. 1 Peter 3:14



    Biblical Example 

    King David in 2 Samuel 11, was supposed to be in battle with his men.  But instead he sent out Joab and his servants while he himself stayed at home.  

    King David was not where he should have been.  

    Because of his being where he really shouldn't have been, he was hanging around the house when he should have been out fighting battles with his men.  
    So instead, his cavalier choice brought him an opportunity to view a woman whom he should not have been viewing.  This first improper choice - to stay at home instead of fight like a man - led him to terrible sorrow,  trouble, sadness, murder and the death of two people: Uriah the Hittite and the child born of David and Bathsheba's adultery.  

    David ended up repenting and was forgiven by God, but he also paid the penalty of being in continual unrest and war for the rest of his life.   

    All because he wasn't where he should have been.

    The Bible seems to teach that God would rather we suffer wrong when we are somewhere that we should be, than suffer wrong when we are somewhere that we shouldn't be. 


    In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6



    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Sin Nature

    Many doctrines have invented terms that are nonexistent in the Bible. Like the term total depravity. You won’t find that anywhere in the Bible. Nor does the word “sinful” ever appear with the word “nature”, as in "sinful nature". In fact, every use of the word “nature” in scripture, the opposite is implied. 

    For instance, the Bible says in Romans 1:26-27  "For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."

    This verse makes it utterly clear that h*mose*uality (that God calls abominable) is contrary to nature. It's a choice, like every other sin. 
    Charles Finney said, “If in fact we had a sinful nature that would be the best of all excuses for sinning." - Charles Finney 

    The prevalent doctrine of "sin nature" would make sin God's fault, not mine. If we were born predisposed to sin and incapable to doing anything else, how can we possibly be responsible for something we "can't help"?  And how can we be sorry and repent for for something we are not even responsible for?  You see? Such a ridiculous, heretical, unbiblical and impossible doctrine.

    Adam's sin separated him from God and all his descendants have been born likewise. Separated from God. And that makes us predisposed to independence which leads to sin. But we are not born with some kind of a fixed inclination to sin. But our flesh (our cells, skin, tissues and bones) is happy to indulge. The Bible tells us the flesh and the mind are at war. We may want one thing, but the flesh another. What you do determines who your master is. 

    Adam had a desire to see things pleasant, to eat food, to be wise, gifts God gave him. And it is those very attributes that Adam exercised that led to his sin.

    So if the presence of universal sin can only be explained by sinful nature, how would you explain Adam having sinned or Lucifer having sinned before that? 

    Certainly there was no possibility of any kind of an evil nature being present prior to the fall.  

    How would you explain the fact that Christ was tempted in all points like as we are.  Certainly he didn’t have Adam’s nature. Yet he was tempted. What was the nature of the temptation? What was in him that could be aroused to lust, to disobey God, except the body of flesh? (Look up the phrase "body of flesh" in the KJV).

    Theologians teach that Christians have a two natures and that the Christian life is a struggle to conquer that alter ego, the sinful self that dwells inside. 

    The Bible teaches that there is a struggle for a Christian, but the struggle is not between two inner personalities - an old Adam sinful personality and a new Christ personality. 

    That’s not the struggle. The struggle in the scripture is clearly between the flesh and the spirit. 

    It’s interesting that in the NIV in Romans chapter 7 and 8, they take that word, flesh (or “sarx” the greek word used 144 times and translated as the word "flesh" 143 times in the King James Bible) that one, single, short, word for flesh and translate it “sinful nature”.  Flesh is what gets burnt, gets bruised, gets cut, gets freckled, it dies, it rots, it’s buried  flesh is flesh. 

    Many modern bible versions say that, “I know that in me, that is in my “sinful nature” dwelleth no good thing”.  

    And that is exactly the way that fundamental Christians all down through the years have interpreted Romans 7. They think that the word flesh does not mean flesh, it means sinful nature. The fact that the King James Bible never uses the term “sinful nature" anywhere, ever, has not deterred the development of the (false) doctrine of sinful nature.  

    The truth is that the doctrine doesn’t come out of the scriptures. It comes out of experience. I know in my own experience I am weak and ineffectual when it comes to dealing with sin. I know that in my own experience that sin is so easy to do. And that there’s a readiness in me to do things that are sinful.  

    Before men get saved, it’s impossible in practice for him to give up his sin. Paul describes the situation in Romans 7.  Theologians say that sin dwells in my nature, but scripture says that it dwells in my flesh

    Scripture is God's word. So who do you think we should believe - God or man? Men developed the idea that there are two selves: one that can only do sin and one that can only do righteousness. A truly ludicrous notion that masses of people have fallen victim to believing. They believe it because they want to. The alternative is their own responsibility and accompanying guilt.

    What about justification?  Justification is the work that God did for us in Jesus Christ. There’s nothing we can ever do that contributes to our justification. But what we fail to understand is that sanctification is equally objective, equally outside of us, and equally the work of Christ —  not for us, but TO us. 

    The full gospel is this: Jesus died FOR me to forgive me of my sins and I died with him to free me from it’s power.  I am free from the power of sin. I don't have to yield to it. I can say no and call on the power of God to walk away. 

    So justification is the work God did IN CHRIST. 
    Sancitification is the work God did IN CHRIST TO ME.  

    Resting in Jesus is my joy. Trusting in all he has done, is doing and will do. It's good to be free. :) It's good to know that if I stumble (sin unintentionally) I have an advocate with the Father. Jesus, my mediator, friend and Saviour, is interceding for me and covers me. I am His forever. 

    If you are reading this and you are unsure of your salvation, it is simply a matter of getting right with God.  


    Saturday, October 6, 2012

    Soft Femininity

    Soft femininity is something every woman must constantly pursue because we are living in a world where it is being aggressively attacked.  Yet it's worth fighting for.  Especially if you are married.  

    The Instincts of Men

    God gave men natural instincts to protect and care for the vulnerable, and weak. They are attracted to those who need them, admire them, and appreciate them.  These male instincts are not conscious choices by men (real men), they are God given and they are good!  For a godly man, this means he will be naturally drawn to having a wife and children - both weaker than he and in need of his protection and provision.
      
    Men who are effeminate are not born that way.  Men and women are all born with their respective God-given instincts.  Depravity somewhere in the upbringing subdues those who behave contrary to what God has designed. 


    Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. 1 Corinthians 6:9
    And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.  Romans 1:28

    But back to our topic: soft femininity.  What does the bible say about it?  A lot actually.  There are many outstanding women in the Bible who give us examples of soft femininity.  A soft and feminine woman is altogether lovely in her man's eyes.  She concedes to his direction and leading.  She needs his wisdom and strength.  Did you know that the more you rely on your husband, the stronger he becomes?

    A man has the instinct to protect, but it erodes when there is no one to protect.  It's like a muscle.  The more it is used the stronger it gets.  A good man is precious - like gold.  If you have one, as I do, don't take him for granted!  There is nothing like being cherished by a man.  What is at the core of most every movie and song?  Romantic love.  What we women want is devotion to us alone.  But too often, women forget what their man wants or don't bother finding out. It's imperative to not only find out but to give it. 

    A wise woman seeks to find out what her man cherishes in his heart and spends time finding out what he likes, dislikes, his passions, his dreams, his causes and his talents.  

    It's important to make ourselves lovely.  Never lose sight of this.  My husband deserves to come home to a pretty woman every night and have a hot meal ready and a warm bed waiting. No matter if you are not the most beautiful woman in the world, you are to your husband. Or at least you were when he chose you to marry.  

    Making yourself beautiful for him starts from the inside.  Men are highly attracted to smiling, cheerful, funny women.  There is no way to completely encompass all there is to shoot for when becoming a full woman.  But there seek out some good resources to learn more.  

     I feel like a real woman when I am meeting my husband's needs.  What happens is miraculous.  The more that I meet his needs, the more he meets mine.  Talk about bliss!

    I work on my appearance and spend time taking care of myself so that my husband is glad I'm his.  This is fun to do, but it is also a 'labor of love'.  It's tempting to let ourselves go after getting married.  But it's worth every second we can put into it to cultivate femininity.  The more opposite we are to masculinity, the more attractive we become to our man.

    Feminine Traits to Cultivate

    A softer voice. If your voice is deep, husky or in any way masculine,  practice a more feminine, higher pitch. Don't overdue or it will feel unnatural.  But a soft voice is a very becoming aspect of femininity.

    Graceful Movements.  The graceful step of a feminine lady is lovely to behold.  Her footfalls are gentle and sweeping. Her graceful mannerisms are fluid and quite the opposite of a man's blunt, edgy stance.  Women actually used to take classes to learn this valuable trait.  One of the exercises to learn graceful walking is to put a book on your head and try to walk without the book falling off.  

    A Softer Touch.  The touch of a woman should be lighter than a man's.  Our hands are often worn out from dishes, laundry and housework.  Take time to moisturize them before bed each night. When you touch your husband and children, be gentle.  Your kids should notice a stark difference between the touch of their mother and father.  

    A Softer Face. We don't want our face to look stern most of the time.  Our faces reflect what is going on in our hearts and minds.  Make thankfulness a part of your thought patterns every day.  Make smiling your default setting.  Think on lovely things and your face will soften.  Meditating on God's goodness is a good place to start. 

    Get or Stay Physically Fit.  Proverbs 31 speaks of the virtuous woman and how she strengthens her arms.  I think it's important to stay strong and healthy because our arms have a lot of hugging to do! :)  So find a way to get a walk in every day and lift weights a few times a week.  The benefits are innumerable and your firmer curves will be an aphrodisiac to your husband. 

    Dress pretty.  Leggings are not pants. Tight pants are not attractive.  Low cut blouses are tawdry.  There are ways to dress attractively, but still maintain a decent level of modesty. Men are attracted to women.  Dress attractively for your own husband, not mine. :)  Men are very, very visual.  Don't make him fight his need to look at an attractive woman.  Be attractive to your husband. Most men appreciate long hair, subtle frills, glowing skin and  pretty scents.  


    There are so many more I could list but I am out of time.  For more on this subject, there is a book called "Fascinating Womanhood" that I've not read all the way through, but I intend to once I have my own copy.  Today, let thankfulness pervade your thoughts for all that God has so graciously given you. 


    Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:10



    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    Eggshell Water for Joints

    I am making some eggshell water today.  Sounds weird, but eggshell water, taken in small amounts daily, helps to increase bone mineral density.


    Eggshells are quite rich in calcium.  They even look like thin, round bones, don't they? My joints have always been loud, snap, crackle and pop joints. My mother and youngest son are the same way so I guess there are some genetics involved.  But I've always wanted to find a way to strengthen them.


    So I found a recipe for eggshell water that I want to try and I will report the results in a few weeks to let you know how it works. 

    To make the eggshell water, you pour 2 cups of hot water over 4-5 crumbled egg shells. (Make sure the eggshells are clean and membrane free.)  Add 1 tsp fresh lemon juice or vinegar. Cover and let sit for 2 hours. Strain the shells out and put liquid in a clean glass jar with a lid. Take a sip of the liquid one or two times a day. You're not supposed to take more than that amount as it could build up too much in the body.  More is not better here, so if you do this, stick to the one or two sips a day.



    It seems to me that the assimilation rate would be much higher with this supplementation than it would be when taking hard calcium tablets.  Those things just end up in the commode unabsorbed most of the time. 

    I'll propably drip a little in my kids milk each day, too, that way they won't really taste it.

    Isn't it wonderful God's provided so many wonderfully natural ways for us to have all we need to live and grow and enjoy his creation. But I'm especially grateful that he gives us people who figure out how to use what he gave us and share their knowledge with the rest of us!

    UPDATE:

    I made the eggshell water, put it in a drinking glass in the fridge and began taking little sips of it throughout the day. What didn't fit in the glass I put in my ice tray and froze to be added to smoothies later on. 

    On the second day, I noticed that my joints felt firmer than before, so this stuff definitely works!  I am getting totally addicted to finding awesome ways to care for the health of my family and myself apart from big pharmas!!  :)

    Tuesday, October 2, 2012

    Summer Reading Vs. Skill Building


    Well the summer of 2012 is past and beautiful Autumn is upon us.  Fall is my absolute favorite time of year.  I had a restful but productive break from blogging (for anyone out there who's still reading this blog! lol).  

    So how did you spend your summer?  Did your kids participate in the popular summer reading programs that most public libraries offer? I must say, we have never participated in one of those programs until this summer.  We reluctantly joined about a month into the program. But the prizes were really disappointing, as we'd expected.   

    My biggest biggest difficulty has been finding books that are worth investing the time to read.  There is so much drivel now a days (as Charlotte Mason would say) and so few books to choose from that don't have more of a negative influence than a positive one.  And since my children are impressionable and precious to me, I am pretty particular about the materials I give them to read.



    So our reading choices lean toward books and materials that build skills. We like good biographies, too, but even there we are careful of the level of detail of sin they share.



    So rather than reading the whole summer away, I always encourage my children to do productive things with their time - especially starting at the 12 to 14 age range. I want them learning skills, starting their own businesses, ministering, and really not having time to spend reading books (except for their school work and Bible times).  

    This summer, my boys practiced their juggling skills and they got so good that they each bought a set of juggling pins with their own money.  They'll be presenting their skills at a future homeschool Presentation Day.  They also went camping with their dad, exploring caves and waterfalls and they started their own business selling Paracord bracelets. Their summer was filled with activity, learning and experiences rather than a lot of reading for the sake of busy-ness.



    As I spend more time in the bible, the worldly influences from the past continue to fade and my reading standards continue to rise.  :) 

    So many books I used to think were good choices I find to be no longer worthy of consideration. Children absorb what they read in a way that might not sink in with adults and I don’t want my children soaking up the kinds of materials that many parents these days consider to be good choices.




    The educational world says that children must read, read, read and that influence has infected a whole lot of people.  On the surface, an enormous amount of reading certainly sounds good.  I mean, reading leads to learning, right?  Opens the mind, carries away the imagination? Have you noticed the immense push for children to read?  Have you ever wondered why are there no reading incentive programs for adults? Hmm.



    What kinds of books do kids typically want to read? Mostly fiction.  Reading fiction is like eating candy or sitting in front of the tv.  It’s mostly a waste of time, generally unproductive and usually addicting.




    Our children read a lot in their school work and Bible time. However, we don't want to give our children an appetite to sit and spend hours with a fiction book any more than we want to give them an appetite to sit and spend hours in front of a TV.




    This summer, we found productive activities for our kids to do rather than just ways to entertain them.  They grow up so fast and now is the planting season.  When my children read a book I'm aware that it is as though someone I don’t even know is spending hours a day with my children.  And those aren’t passive hours, they are very serious.  Books are people talking to our children.  I always try to consider 2 things: what are they saying and what are they trying to teach my child?




    There is nothing like pure ability to boost a child’s confidence and sense of value and usefulness.  Even at young ages, children are aware that usefulness is synonymous with worth.  When a child’s summer is filled with one  toy, play date, video game, and  fiction book after another , the only thing accomplished is that time has been spent rather than invested.  In order to build the character necessary for the quickly approaching adolescent years, a child must be provided and confronted with challenges. 

    Boys can  be learning lawn maintenance, garden tool care, small engine repair, household repairs, wall or fence painting, carpentry skills, bird house building, dog training, garden growing, etc. Our sons will never forget the summer they built a tree house with their dad in 2009. They were 10 and 12 at the time. And my oh my, were they proud of that accomplishment!  Not to mention the bonding experience with their father - it was priceless. 

    Our daughter is grown and married now, but when she was younger, I taught her as many homemaking skills as I possibly could.  She learned how to crochet and sew a little, paint, garden, bake and all household tasks including laundry, cleaning, organizing, and decorating. When she was 11, she cooked our family an entire meal made from scratch – all by herself.   

    One summer,  she classified, catalogued, organized and labeled a huge box of vintage postage stamps.  There were thousands of them!  We got her some special books for stamp collecting, a magnifying glass and a bowl to soak the stamps and she went to work. It was really impressive when she was finished. She was so proud of her accomplishement. And many amazing old stamps even spurred her on to some fascinating history lessons!  

    Kids are so much happier and better prepared for life when we fill their days with useful skills and take advantage of as many teaching opportunities as we can.  We all love our children and want them to have fun.  But they grow up sooo fast.  It is worth teaching them to have fun while learning skills.  They will thank us for it when they are grown.  



    I turn a deaf ear to the voices who exalt reading as though it were some highly prized goal.  Teaching our children to walk in truth, holiness and love God is the prized goal.  

    Thought to consider: Who is 'talking' to your child today?






    Saturday, August 4, 2012

    Time for a Blogging Break

    I will be on a blogging break for the month of August.  We are in the process of redecorating, wrapping up last year's and preparing for next year's homeschooling and many other things right now.  But do check back in the fall. :)

    May God bless the rest of your summer!

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    The Dress Barn

    Time to laugh again.  :) 

    I've actually shopped at The Dress Barn before (once when they had a good sale) so this is really hilarious.  Have a good belly laugh ladies!




    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Who Guides the House?

    The Bible says in 1 Timothy 5:14 that a woman is to guide her house. (Not be the head of it, but guide it.)

    I will therefore that the younger women: 
    1. marry
    2. bear children 
    3. guide the house
    4. give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully
     
    We can see that after marriage and bearing children, that our work is guiding the house.  And it's very important. Never think of your job as a homemaker and housewife, as less than absolutely vital.  It is so huge.  And you are irreplaceable. 

    Who else sees to it that the house is running smoothly, there are regular meals, boo boos kissed, clean places to eat, organized places to play, sanitary places to wash and soothing places rest?   Wives and Mothers.



    We are indispensable in this most noble calling.  If we want to know what work the Lord has given us to do, we need turn to no other source than the Bible. 


    When we guide our house, we are taking charge of the day. A wise woman looks around her, sees what needs to be done and then she sets her sights on accomplishing the tasks before her.

    Proverbs 14:1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.


    Some of the activities that the Bible mentions that women are to do is sew. It is common to see ladies in old black and white movies resting comfortably in the evening while doing their mending or sewing projects.

    Exodus 35:25 And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen.
    Notice that it is the wise women who got busy here.  They wasted no time in getting lots of clothes and linens made.  Sewing is becoming a lost art.  If you don't know how, why not begin learning now?  Depending on your budget you could,
    1. teach yourself  through library books, youtube tutorials, etc.
    2. take classes at a local fabric store,
    3. take private lessons,
    4. learn some basics from a friend who sews. 

    Which ever way works for you, sewing is a skill that God considers a very wise choice for a woman.  Yet more scripture extolling the praises of this humble but valuable task:

    Proverbs 31:19-24 She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple. Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.

    Make Lists

    Busy homekeepers have too many irons in the fire to keep everything in our heads.  We need to get in the habit of making lists.  Write it down or wear a frown. (Ha, that rhymes.  :-)  Seeking God in prayer and reading from scripture every day gives us refreshment and strength to build your house. 
    Guide Your House

    This is not to be confused with being the head or leading in the family.  Notice the wording - guide the house. This is referring to house keeping, teaching and training the children, planning menus, shopping, cooking, cleaning, etc.

    God has made us uniquely qualified for this precious position.  And it takes all we have in us.  So invest your heart and soul into guiding your house.  Give selflessly, love lavishly, laugh freely and work diligently.  Your rewards are great. 
    Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
    Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

    2 Thessalonians 3:13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.
    I don't know what your work load is, how much you have on your shoulders or how little support you may have at this season in your life.  But the Lord does.


    Proverbs 12:4 A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.
    We do not need priests in white collars, we don't need rosaries, or confessions or sacraments or good works or devotions or lots of Christian life books in order to live righteously before the Lord.  We need only call upon His Name.

    Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

    Revelation 22:17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.



    WHOSOEVER, pron. who, so, and ever. Any one; any person whatever.

    God says that HE and he alone is our strength, comfort, healer, rock, fortress, strong tower, high priest, deliverer and Saviour. Those of us who are believers, whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life, have access to the very throne of God every day. That is mind blowingly awesome.


    Make your home homey. 

    Guide your own house, ladies.  Don't let your children run the day. Don't let outside activities, friends and social events intervene in how you guide your house. 
    It can be easy to forget these things which is why I felt like writing about them today.  I need to be reminded frequently and often.  :-)
    Proverbs 21:9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

    Proverbs 21:19 It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

    Proverbs 25:24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.
    A good woman is precious in God's sight.  So I just wanted to say to all of you who are tired, weary, worn out, frustrated, under appreciated, overwhelmed and burdened, you do not have to stay there.  You have the authority and mandate of God to guide your house. 

    You have been authorized to bring your children into compliance and fill their time with useful things.  Teach them responsibility, teach them to love others.  Show them by example how to treat others as you'd like to be treated. 

    I am going to think today about how I currently fulfill this tall order of guiding my house.  Maybe there are areas I am doing well and others I am slacking. 

    But the good news is that every day is filled with new mercy and whatever yesterday was, is gone.  All I can do with yesterday is learn from it.  But I can't live in it. Today is new and God has called us to walk in newness of life.  So let us walk.

    Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    Proverbs 31:10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.


    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Getting By in a Tough Economy


    We're living in very economically challenging times.  Of course it's not the first time our country's had it rough financially. It's fascinating to read about stories from the Great Depression and how people learned to live with less. Those folks were really innovative when it came to living frugally. 

    In fact, if you haven't checked out Clara’s Kitchen you are missing a real treat. She has great stories and creative recipes from the depression era and she is delightful to watch.  I've tried her "poor man's meal" and it was very good.

    Here are some ideas for managing your home on a tight budget. Maybe you will find a couple of them helpful for your own household.

    ·       If you live a ways from town, try to fit all your shopping needs, library trips, etc into one trip to conserve gas.

    ·       Eat most of your meals at home.

    ·       If you can, grind your own grains for making your own homemade breads, muffins, cakes, flatbreads, rolls, pies, etc.

    ·       Homemade ice cream and yogurt is cheaper and healthier than store bought.

    ·       Build or buy a cold frame to grow veggies practically year round.

    ·       If possible, keep goats for milk, and chickens for meat and eggs. Back yard chickens are becoming increasingly popular. If your city ordinance has laws prohibiting this, consider getting it overturned.

    ·       Keep the air conditioner set high, and the heat low. If you’re lucky enough to have a wood stove, use it in the winter time for heat. Keeping a kettle of water on the top will provide some healthful humidity in dry winters.

    ·       Everything that uses electricity continually draws a current even when not in use. Consider unplugging the unnecessary ones. 

    ·       Unscrew light bulbs that are seldom or never used.

    ·       Learn how to mend and fix things instead of replacing them.

    ·       Keep away from the mall.

    ·       Check to see if thrift stores or craigslist have what you are looking for before buying new.

    ·       Use cloth instead of paper napkins. The one below shows one of six that I made myself using some fabric I had leftover from another project. They are a snap to make - just a square of cloth hemmed on all sides. Best part - make them to match your personal decor! (They should be laundered within a day.)


    ·       Cancel cable television altogether.  Play parlor games for your evening entertainment instead. You’ll grow closer as a family, make lasting memories and have a lot more fun.
    ·       Cancel all unnecessary memberships and subscriptions.
    ·       Ditch the costly activities and let your kids have fun in the back yard and at a local park.
    ·       Forgo the salon, and team up with a friend for manicures, pedicures, hair color, highlights, etc. If you wax, consider using a home kit.
    ·       Keep an eye out for free community family activities and events.
    ·       Increase the use of cleaning cloths and save paper towels for really yucky spills like raw egg or meat spills.
    ·       Hang dry as much clothing as possible to save energy on running the dryer.
    ·       Dilute whole milk with water, especially when cooking and in cereal.
    ·       Use cloth diapers and wipes instead of expensive disposables.
    ·       Clean countertops with plain white vinegar. (This won’t work on tile because vinegar is an acid and it will slowly eat away at grout.)
    ·       Don’t waste money on dryer sheets. Clothes soften beautifully in the washer with just plain old vinegar. I fill that middle dispenser cup with vinegar and the clothes turn out perfect every time.
    ·       Moisturize with extra virgin coconut oil. Ounce for ounce, it’s much cheaper than pricey beauty creams and best of all its antimicrobial properties make it awesome for anti-aging and glowing skin.
    The popular saying during The Great Depression was:

    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
    What a concept! Saving money does take some creativity but it is worth the effort. It’s like a little game to find out of how far you can stretch a dollar. When I was growing up, I was taught to use things sparingly. A dab of toothpaste, scrape your dinner plate, use every last drop of everything.

    I teach my children this concept. Make do with what you have, or learn to live without it. We’ve come to realize we can live pretty happily without a lot of things. Most of the things people think they absolutely need, they really don’t.
    We could learn a lot from the things many folks did in the Great Depression.  Here are some of the frugal things they did back then:
    ·       They used Sears Catalogs and old newspapers instead of toilet paper. (Praise God things haven’t gotten that desperate yet.)
    ·       They made clothes, aprons, diapers & underwear from old flour sacks. Three sacks were enough to make a housedress.
    ·       They “cut down” old worn out clothes into smaller clothes for babies and children.
    ·       They didn’t accept charity. They worked an honest day for honest pay. Government welfare was a humiliating last resort. We could use more of that mindset today for sure!
    ·       If their shoes wore out before a year, the children went barefoot.
    ·       They bartered and traded for both goods and services.
    ·       They mended worn out socks using a darning “egg” and weaving in thread to fill in the hole.
    ·       Loose strings from clothing were saved and added to a string ball for future mending and sewing needs.
    ·       Every scrap of material was saved for making quilts.
    ·       When they had nothing left to eat, they ate lard sandwiches, fried dough, weeds and sometimes even from garbage cans.
    Those were desperate times! A must see movie is the The Grapes of Wrath with Henry Fonda.  The film does a good job of showing us what it was like for those in poverty back then. I think it was a really well done film. 
    Reduce your spending.

    Reconsider all that you think you need. Even if you don’t need extra money right now, you may be suddenly without an income some day, and anything you put away now for a rainy day will be a blessing to your family. Of course, skills are true wealth. It’s good to learn how to economize, but skills are priceless. For example, knowing how to find wild edibles.
    So what do you think? Do you think any of these ideas could help ease the burden of a tight budget? Care to share what are you doing to get by in this tough economy?