Monday, December 30, 2013

Ready...

 
 
We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves otherwise we harden. VonGothe
 
 
 
 
I am so ready for change. I am so ready for something new.
 
The past couple of years have been challenge upon challenge and yet while we are not completely without turmoil.
 
We are seeing the light and the end of the tunnel.
 
Don't get me wrong. God has been soooo gracious to us. He has provided in ways that seem almost impossible.. and then I remember.
 
Nothing is impossible with God.
 
Quite a few years ago, I dropped EVERYTHING at the Lords feet. I mean, I'm not holding back nothing.. I gave it all to him.. and TRUSTED him with every aspect of my life.
 
He has yet to let me down. (his will.. always..)
 
I have learned to: lean not on my own understanding.
(I don't know why we try)
 
I have learned that:he will never leave me or forsake me.
(when your husband loses his job, watch how fast your friends drop)
I have learned to: be content in all circumstances.
(easiest thing for me, I'm simple like that)
 
 

I am so grateful for those who stuck by us. You've been a blessings to us. I am grateful for really smart God fearing friends, who encouraged me in ways they probably don't know. Like someone posting the exact scripture I or We needed to hear that day.
 
As this year comes to a close.. I know God has so much more in store for us. I know he has great plans for our lives.
 
I look forward to seeking his will for us. I look forward to the renewed energy I feel.
 
 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:14
 
 
 
 
 




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What I learned from Frontier House.

It's funny to think that Frontier house was done almost 12 years ago, and I've finally gotten wind of it. I rented the series off netflix.

It was interesting to hear that over 5,000 families applied for the opportunity to be on the show.  The three families they chose were rather interesting. Because I love to delve into the people and their personalities and psychs, the show was a neat type of reality show.

It was funny to see how people do under pressure. some of the families bonded together and others it just tore them apart.

The last few episodes stick out to me in my mind my the most.  One family was often accused of cheating.. but did they? ALL the families were extremely competitive which I think is where each family lost the spirit of frontier house. The families wouldn't have been competing against each other as far as who has the most wood cut, who saved the most food, who has the prettiest cabin, there were things that wouldn't have occurred on the minds of the true frontiersmen. They would have been to focused on where they were getting their next meal from.

The very last episode, got me the most. Especially the men. Each man walked away in tears. They saw value in what they had done. They had temporarily found a purpose. They found meaning. They looked back at what they created, and cried.  You could see it in their faces.  I could almost feel it through the screen of the television. It's like they knew that was what they were meant for. To be the provider, the care taker, the hunter, the gatherer, the spiritual leader of their homes,  the King of the Castle.

Each woman skipped out of the cabins happily. Each one complained of the same issue. Each one could not find containment on the frontier. Each one complained of the monotony of the work. They complained of not  feeling pretty.  They couldn't wait to get back to the modern world. The modern appliances, their friends. Instead of making friendships on the frontier, they were to busy one upping each other.  I often wonder if their minds hadn't been so focused on themselves, if they would have enjoyed the frontier much more.

When I see this behavior in woman I am reminded that deep down we are daughters of Eve. She also searched for something more. When she had it all in front of her.

I think of God in this way. We are his contentment. He is always working in us, molding us to his image. Making us more like him. But do we show that same contentment back. Do we honor him fully, completely, happily in all circumstances?

My heart broke for those woman. To wrapped up in self to notice the beauty of their surroundings, to wrapped in self to make time for their spouses, so much so one of the couples separated right after the show and later divorced. That couple called themselves Christians!!!

Where was their duty to one another. To wrapped up in self to care.

Lord, help the families of our nation become less about self, and more about being selfless. Less about me and more about you Lord.  Give us the wisdom to teach our children it's all about you. Teaching them from a young age. JOY. Jesus Others Yourself. Teaching our girls to be content in homemaking. Teaching our boys to find contentment in providing for their families, teaching their sons about how to be a leader.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Soup Time..

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year. And since I love cooler weather I do a lot more baking, and cooking.

HOWEVER... SOUP  is one of my all time favorite things to make. It's so flexible and easy. There is just TONS of different recipes to choose from. I probably make at least two pots of soup a week.

The kids love the smell of something on a low simmer all day long. And thankfully my entire family is happy with soup as a meal with fresh bread.

Some of our favorites: Italian Wedding Soup, Italian Sausage Soup, Pasta fagioli (this one is currently simmering on my stove) Chicken Soup, Cheeseburger Soup, Potato, Broccoli and Cheese, Butternut Squash and Apple..

There is just so much to chose from.

Soups are also very flexible, you can't really mess up. A little of this, a little of that.. and your set.

So Bring on the Soup!!! :)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cloth Napkins

I love, love, LOVE.. cloth napkins!!

Recently at a moving sale I hit the mother load of beautiful cloth napkins. She was selling them in packs of 4 or 6 or 1.00. YIPPEE!!!

We use cloth napkins daily.  unless we're eating bbq ribs! ;)  Then we use towels! ;)

I especially love vintage type.  Ones that are embroidered. Such a favorite. My oldest daughter and I know how to embroider and I'm thinking about teaching my 8 yo how to do it. :) 

When you take time out for the little things. It means so much to your family.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

"Entertaining"

"It isn't so much what's on the table that matters, as what's on the chairs."

~William S. Gilbert


Came across this quote on facebook, and loved it.

Often times we as busy people tend to forget about what is important. Especially when we think about entertaining others.

We look at joyful fellowship as entertaining. 

People will often say to me "oh you like to entertain".  And I really don't "entertain"

I break bread, I fellowship, I visit, I invest, I listen, I hug, I cry and I laugh, with each person that comes into my home.

As Christians if we adapt the worldly way of entertaining we miss the above.

The world says make sure you house is 100% complete before you have people in. Make sure the drapes are hung, there is fancy new furniture in each and every room. China to serve a meal on. Alcohol to serve, 4, 5, 6, 7 course meals. Show your friends how accomplished you are by serving filet mignon and lobster tails. Talk about the "finer" things in life. Brag, boast.. make it all about you (secretly), while you tell your guests it's all about them. Smile that big cheesy grin. Come on, you know the one.. The smile that says. "it's all wonderful here" Even though that is NOT how your life is. Put on the show.. ENTERTAIN!!!


That is NOT how Christians should be. We are called to break bread with other believers. God didn't say "Only if" .. your house is clean, large enough, you own plush sofas!!

He is not worried about that.. He is concerned about the people in the chairs!!!!!

Fellowship should be sweet, uplifting, prayerful, enjoyable.

You don't need filet mignon and lobster tails. Homemade pizza works wonders. People love it.
You don't need super clean. Your home is lived in by you and your family.. I've got news for you so are others homes!

Our hearts are what matter.

We have an open house every Sunday.. and sometimes during the week, I just put out what were doing for dinner let people make the decision to come. Sometimes, I get a houseful and sometimes no one shows up.
It's all a matter of who God brings. I love fellowship with believers, I love fellowship with unbelievers, my favorite is the type of fellowship with both.

Your home can be a ministry. Open it up. Don't sweat the small stuff. Keep is Simple Silly!

Allow God to use you! Don't think of it as "entertaining" , look at it as fellowshipping with people you love, witnessing to those whom are unsaved, building each other up in the Lord.

My home is always open, some days you may find it neat and clean.. Others you may have to step over piles of toys and clothes to make your way to the kitchen. Either way the door is open, You are Welcome.

Don't be concerned with things of this world.

Love thy Neighbor! Open the door. Let people in..

~~~Blessings~~~






Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day 2013


This year was probably the first year in 18 years that I didn't spend Mother's Day in tears.

Eighteen years ago, my grandmother passed away on Mother's Day.  She was such a sweet, compassionate woman.. always ready to feed anyone who walked in.  This is definitely one thing I've picked up from her!

 This was also the first time in 5 years that we didn't spend camping. With hubby's new job, we are experiencing a lot of change.

Change is good though.

SO this year, I was determined to make Mother's Day Special for me and my children, especially with all the changes.

I started with preparing on Saturday Night. I set the table with fancy plates. I set out the punch bowl, and we had a wonderful breakfast early Sunday morning before Church.

It was quite pleasant. We had: blueberry muffins, pancakes, biscuits with sausage gravy, ambrosia, a delicious cranberry pomegranate punch, and fresh coffee.

My daughter bought me a beautiful centerpiece of flowers. With a yellow vase, my favorite color. And my favorite candy bar was on the table too! :)

We ate and then headed to church. Our service was wonderful. My pastor played a few games to honor mothers and I won a plant. :)

The message was wonderful as well.

We then went to the park and my daughter worked her photography magic and took some great family photos of us.

We came home and had a dinner of surf and turf. :) 

It was an over all wonderful day. I am thankful that for the first time in years I was able to get through Mother's Day without shedding tears of sadness, but I was able to truly enjoy my family.



Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chaos Hour


As a stay at home, homeschooling, run two at home businesses,  mom of many.. I have dubbed a certain time of day as "Chaos Hour"..

For us this is usually the hour before my husband is due home from work. I am usually in the midst of making dinner, setting table, cleaning up from whatever project we had done during the day etc. etc.

Because I try to create an atmosphere of peace for when hubby comes home, chaos hour.. is just that complete and utter chaos. It's the time of day when my phone will ring the most. It's the time when my little ones will want immediate answers to the worlds biggest questions.. Like "why are duck feathers green?" and it's is asked with such urgency.. like they must know NOW!! :)

It's the hour when my oldest ones are either leaving for work, coming in from work, coming home from an outing etc. etc.

It's also the time when someone gets hurt, someone needs me to talk to them privately, or the baby is crying and needs me.

So how does a mom combat "Chaos Hour"?

First she recognizes it.
It will be different in each home, as we are all on different schedules, routines, working or non-working..

Hint: It's the time when you are most ready to rip your hair out! ;)

After you have figured it out then you create the plan of action.

Here is mine.
Hubby is usually home from work around 6:30 pm. Dinner is usually prepared and just waiting for his arrival before being moved to dining room table.

So for me 5-5:30 ish is when everything seems to happen at once.

Around 4pm I start our supper. That's when all TVs are turned off. Kids are encouraged to clean up their school stuff they have been working on. I tune the radio usually to classical music. There is no video games or other back round noise.

I try to get each person who is home involved in preparing for daddy's arrival home.

We do a tidy of the house. Set dinner table, light candles. Get cleaned up. No dirty kids( or sloppy mama)  when daddy walks in. :) 

Any laundry is done and put away.

For my older children I have them write the schedules down on a large calendar for me to see. Who is where and when or if they will be home. 

By keeping the kids busy with helping me, we lessen the chances of someone getting hurt, kids bickering etc. etc.

Now two nights a week we are out of the house before our usual dinner time. That is also a different "chaos" time.. and we prepare accordingly for those nights. For instance both night my hubby is meeting us at church, therefore we eat ahead of time and I bring his supper to church.

Same routine but our "time" is bumped up by  a few hours.

The key to lessening the stress of "chaos hour" is to be prepared. When we are not prepared it just makes the time more frustrating.

This again is just what works for us. Identify your 'chaos hour'. And make a plan! :)

Dost thou love life?
Then do not squander time,
for that is the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin




Blessings

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Blessed with family..

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20680580,00.html


It is so exciting to me to see this young family fulfill their desires to follow the Lord by turning over their fertility to him.

As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” Genesis 9:7

When hubby and I were younger and started our family, we were pleasantly surprised to find out we were expecting, albeit it wasn't the perfect of circumstances. We weren't married, we weren't saved..I was on birth control and yet we knew that the life that was given to us was so special, and a gift.

You see even tho, we weren't so many things, God had his hand on us. He was protecting us and guiding our ways even though we hadn't fully come to him yet.

When we had our first child we decided that if God could bless us while using birth control then we knew it wasn't something under our control. So we at that time, still not saved yet.. decided we would leave it up to the Lord to dictate our family size.

Of course this wasn't scary to me at all.. I knew I wanted a large family.. As a child I would say I'm going to have 4 kids when I grow up. For Hubby this was a complete leap of faith.. Because he was NEVER getting married and NEVER having children.

As God kept his hand on our hearts we got saved when our oldest daughter was about 2.. and our first son was few months old. 

Praise God for keeping us in his will.

After we had my daughter and my son, we started getting the questions,  "Are you done yet" "One boy one girl your done" "you can't afford anymore children"..  etc etc.

We were so convicted in our beliefs that we would ignore these comments, but at times they hurt. Family members didn't understand "why" would leave our family size up to God.. and all the well meaning questions would follow.. like.. "what about college?"  "how will you afford a house big enough"

We had outlined goals for our family.. and if they wanted to go to college, there is nothing wrong with working your way though it.  I did! and Vocational School too!!  We encourage entrepreneurship.
.  We are seeing this come to fruition with out oldest child. She is currently in vocational school for photography, she does work a full time job, and pursues her own photography business.

God Blessed us! and She walks in truth!!!! There is nothing greater then knowing your child walks in truth!!!!!!!!!!!!

Over 18 years we've had 6 children. They naturally come about every 3 years for us. That is how God designed OUR family. We are grateful to him for it. I have lots of friends who have children every year. That is God's design for their family!!!

Who knows us best~ He does!!!!

I'm sure it's hard for the young Duggars to hear the negative comments times a million. They are in the public eye.

But I'm proud of them, for sticking to their wedding vows and following God's will for their lives.

As for answering the other questions over the years we would answer.. Now we just say God is in control of our lives. We will see what he does with them.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A routine again!!! & Preparing for a Storm...

While dh was unemployed we lost all sense of routine! Because our normal "routine" was that when Daddy was home it's all about him and what he wants to do. Well when he lost his job and was home everyday we continued in that pattern. It's all me and my children had known for the past 25 years!

Now that he is back working again, Thank GOD!!! We are back to our normal routine! Yeah.. and hubby is feeling back to normal himself! Yea!!!

With that being said I wanted to talk about being prepared for a storm.. As a christian woman God calls us to be certain things..  Think Proverbs 31.  I'm going to focus specifically on the ones below and how they help me to be prepared for what is to come.

15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants..

Providing a nourishing, healthy meal for my family is important.. The more I read about what is in our foods the more I realize I have to be more diligent in what I purchase and really make the budget stretch in order to provide the best for them.  Keeping in budget is also just as important, my husband is the sole provider for our family, he trusts me to do what is best with the funds. By careful planning, canning, freezing etc. We are prepared for the storm.

17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks..

I can work vigorously that's for sure.. are my arms strong for the task.. they serve me well.. but the word strong means "to show great body and muscular power" .. I am working on that aspect of becoming physically stronger.. I think we are weaker in a physical sense now and days because of all the modern conveniences we have.. and we are no longer working side by side with our husbands.. There is a whole new definition to helpmate.

20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.

This really should be a no brainer in your everyday life, not just during an emergency. Our home is always open to anyone who should need a place to rest. Weather that be during a natural disaster or just for a Sunday night dinner.  If your house is prepared serving others is a non-issue..

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet..

Did you know that scarlet was considered pretty fancy in bible days.. It meant that things are well in your household to have colored garments. It was the best of the best.. Are you providing the best of the best that you can? I don't mean top of the line of everything.. but the absolute best for your family. Sometimes that is hand me downs or consignment bargains but you can find the best of the best on the cheap if you shop wisely. From everything you need to provide a warm, loving, pretty home environment for you home, to clothing for your family. It doesn't always mean new..

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

Can you snicker at what Satan has in store for you? Are you confident no only in your own abilities but most of all in what GOD is able to do for you. I have seen God work miracles during my husbands unemployment.. during hurricane Sandy.. He is so much more then we give him credit for because we tend to only trust ourselves, but when we do our best WITH God.. It's an amazing outcome.  Can you tell others of God's mercies, and grace in your life.. Can you instruct someone on his teachings and provide instruction on how to survive a situation..

27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

If you are busy about your home and your family.. you won't have time for drama and stress. I often see women complaining about who is a gossip or who has done this or that to them.. But if you remain busy about your OWN family and your OWN affairs.. You can live a relatively stress free life.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:.

This is what is most important to me.. Will my children be blessed by how I provide for them? Will they be able to bless someone else because of what they learned in our home? Will they serve freely in their own families one day?Are they seeing the love of Jesus demonstrated daily, hourly, minutely.. in my life? And for my husband.. Does he know that while he is out earning the income.. His home is being cared for, his children are being nurtured? He has a warm, secure, place to return to.. Where upon his arrival is a place of comfort, a wife with a kiss and hug and children who are happy to see him?

Taking and applying these principles will help you weather any storm.

Blessings~



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