Friday, April 18, 2014

Cleaning With Joy

My granddaughter was hungry when she woke up, so I fixed her a smoothie with kefir, frozen berries, bananas, organic juice and a little stevia. Then I fixed her a large piece of my homemade bread, a big glob of grass fed butter {She always asked if she can have a piece of butter while she is waiting! What is it with little children and plain butter??!!}, and an organic egg on top with a runny yolk. She gobbled it up!

Then I made my breakfast of two eggs and potatoes cooked in ghee and then slices of avocado. I sat at the table to eat it. She promptly went to the silverware drawer, got out a fork, and began to eat my breakfast with me. I said, "Emma, you already ate your breakfast." She quickly responded, "I am just trying to help you out, Grandma!" {Children bring so much joy to life.}

Later, I was cleaning the bathroom. She wanted to help so badly. I was using Bar Keepers Friend on the sinks and only had one sponge. She kept asking me to help. Later, as I was thinking about it, I decided next time she cleans a bathroom with me, I want to have a small bottle filled just with water, a small sponge, and some baking soda for her to clean the sink and mirrors with me. I want items that are completely non-toxic.

Whenever I am sweeping my floors, she wants to sweep with me. This is the time to begin training your children, when they are young and eager to learn. Yes, it takes more time but it will be well worth it in a few years when they are older and can help you out.

"Mothers stressed again and again how important it is to do things with your children, household chores as well as other family projects. At such times, mother functions as teacher; she works alongside the children, imparting lessons in how to organize one's work and carry it through completion. The younger the child and the less his/her ability, the greater is his/her enthusiasm. Take advantage of it!"{Mary Ann Cahill}

Also, clean with joy! Sing while doing it and have a smile on your face. Never complain about it. Tell your children while you are cleaning the dishes how happy you are to have dishes to clean. When cleaning the sink, remind them how blessed we are to have running, hot water, soap, etc. Train them at an early age to be thankful for all the good things God has bless us with!

Charge them that are rich in this world, 
that they be not highminded, 
nor trust in uncertain riches, 
but in the living God, 
who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.
I Timothy 6:17

***We are no longer called sinners, but saints. God has clothed us with His righteousness and taken us out of the kingdom of darkness so that we might be a light to others.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Laine's Powerful Testimony

This was one of my very favorite mentor's testimony about how she went from a soap opera, dissatisfied, and unhappy wife and mother to one that rejoices daily in her God-given ministry to her family. This letter was written 
January 4, 2002 ~

I have been married 16 years to Art. I prayed since I was sixteen for God's man for me, and God was faithful to me, even when I was not to Him. I am 36 with four beautiful children: Quincy {14}, Brady {11}, Abbie {7}, and Gabe {4}. I often look at them now and whisper to God, "You make the most beautiful children."

When I was pregnant between Abbie and Gabe, I lost a baby at five months of pregnancy. It was so hard for me because I was very sick with that baby and in bed much of the time. The fact of the matter was, I was becoming depressed and feeling God was not listening to me as I cried out in sickness. Then it got baby died inside of me without my knowledge of it for awhile.

I was His child, but I was spending more time reading rough romance novels, and watching soap operas and movies that I should not have. These were the words I was meditating on all day. I was spending no time in His Word except for opening my Bible in church on Sunday morning.

I was a fearful woman who put her children first in her life. Most of my fears concerned them. In my fear, I was critical and frustrated which caused me to yell at them a lot. My husband didn't know what to make of me and just tried to cope. We often had heated discussions. I felt as though everyone was sucking off me, and the were sucking me dry...

I got pregnant two months later with Gabe. Oh, I was so excited. He was born five weeks early, but there was serious trouble two weeks later. Before I knew it he had developed pneumonia and was in  an oxygen tent in the hospital fighting to breathe and stay alive. The nurse who was assigned to us told us he couldn't keep up the striving to breathe as he was only four pounds and that his heart would give out. She was sorry but she was so swamped with patients and would we call out to her when the heart monitor went off to signal his heart had stopped so that she could rush in to tend to him. 

Well, I cried out to God as never before in that hospital room. He had taken a baby from me already and was not ready to take one I had seen and held. I had been a Christian since I was ten, but I did not feel His peace at all. I didn't feel it because I did not know my Father. I didn't trust Him in this situation whatsoever. So I started to bargain with Him. I promised Him I would get up early every morning and get to know Him if He would heal my Gabe. The heart monitor went off signaling Gabe's heart had stopped, and I rose to yell for the nurse at my husband's cry. I pleaded with God as I began to yell for the nurse. Gabe's heart started to beat again.

My husband had been encouraging me to write a book on saving money on food as I had a knack with that and had spoken to many women about it. The heart monitor went off again with a penetrating long and loud buzz that sliced into the room. I rose again to yell for the nurse at my husband's cry. {My husband just kept staring at Gabe in the oxygen tent praying for him to live.} I made a second promise. I promised the Lord I would write for Him to women if He would heal Gabe. The heart monitor stopped blaring and Gabe's heart started to beat again. Soon the room was a mass of confusion as they prepared to rush Gabe by ambulance to San Diego Children's hospital. One week later, the head doctor of the critical care ward came in and told me that they had no reason why this baby was well. But they were sending him home. I was so far from God that I did not give Him the praise and the glory He deserved to that team of doctors. I stood there silent, but thankful to have Gabe back.

Once I got home, I knew I had to do what I had promised. So I started to get up at 4:00 a.m., as this was the only time of my day that I could be alone, and I opened the Bible to the beginning: Genesis. I asked Him to show me Who He was, and not as I perceived Him to be, as I did not know Him as I should. And I asked Him to help me love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind, and strength. It was very hard for me to get up at 4:00 a.m. with a nursing baby, three other children, and home schooling. And I always started to read the Bible before, but found it to be too time consuming and difficult to continue. But I feared God! So morning after morning I got up to be alone with Him. Soon I was growing and finding out who God was! And how much He loved me! I couldn't wait to get up and get into His Word, and many times would get up at 3:30 a.m. to linger longer with Him.

That was five years ago this November, and my whole life has been turned upside down with the joy and love and adoration that our great Heavenly Father brings to me, one of His Chosen homemakers. I have more energy than I did before when I was sleeping longer. He multiplies my time. {I liken this to tithing as it seems you can never afford to tithe, and then after you start tithing, you can never afford to stop. Likewise when you "tithe your time" to Him giving Him the first of your day daily.}

And this summer I have had the privilege of almost seeing completion of the book that I promised to Him almost five years ago. The Proverbs 31 Bible study is the beginning of that book as I have a passion to help homemakers as God has so wonderfully seen to help me. It was good that I was afflicted. I no longer read rough romance novels, watch soap operas, or movies that I shouldn't see. He slowly pulled each one of those out of my hands. I no longer put my children first, but can see His plan for the family and try to walk in the Light of His Word on it. I no longer fear, feel frustrated daily, and yell at those that I love the most. I ask that I walk at His Pace, doing His Priorities, by His Power, with His Peace, and with much Praise to Him along the way. I ask that I might cling, cling, cling to Him and that I never return to the state I was in before. Because I know that it is only through the power of His Holy Spirit that I have anything with you to share.

And each morning I get up so excited to see what He will say to me in His beautiful, beautiful Word. And then I have pleasure of conversing with Him as He speaks tome. Intimate conversation in a holy kitchen. I can handle other's words now so much better in my day because I have heard The Word first. {My husband told me today that as I share with other women, he can see early morning lights on in kitchens all across America. It gave me goose bumps when he said that as I know the strength a homemaker has who is sold out for God and clinging to Him.}

My husband gets up next when I am 3/4's of the way through my Bible reading, and I have never looked at him with more love than I do now. God has given me new eyes to see him. He sits next to me and reads His Bible, which he never did before. My children get up after he leaves for work, and I cannot believe the change my behavior has had on them. My eldest son says the change in me caused him to start to read his Bible through every day for a year. And the, "my servants" get up and get going, which has had the most profound effect on my outlook concerning the running of my home. It was on the umpteenth time of reading through Proverbs 31, and trying to assimilate the wisdom taught there, that He opened my eyes to see who my servants were: crock pot, bread machine, washer, oven, sink, refrigerator, sewing machine, and many, many, more. And then to get them going early in the morning after He has given me the Living Bread to meditate on all day long.

I am still striving to be all that He wants me to be. I have not arrived. I still struggle. But as I see Him afresh and anew every morning, I see He has the power to do anything with anyone who is willing to let go and let him have total control. It took me three readings of His Word to do that. Now I am His Servant, His Slave, His Daughter, and part of His Glorious Bride! I ask Him to orchestrate my moments into a life of praise to Him. May He shine, may He shine, may He shine! And may His Servant, Laine, be forgotten and may Jesus Christ be the fragrance remembered. I am His Fingerprint, wanting, oh so wanting, to leave His Impression.

With much love to you all,

I love you, Lord, you are my strength. 
Psalm 18:1

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Huge Loss To Society

Those of us who have chosen to be keepers at home can barely stay home because of the dear senior saints who need to be taken to the doctor, the grocery, or just out to lunch, because their daughters and daughter-in-law are working. Being busy with an outside job has its advantages, like not having to face the people who are in need and hungry and whose souls need caring for. {Marilee Horton}

Ouch, that sounds a bit harsh since some women have no choice but to work, but to those who chose to work, Marilee may be right. Many young women tell me they cannot find a godly woman to mentor them. Some tell me their mothers work and can't help them at all with their children. Women seeking careers have taken them away from the things the Lord wants of them. Society is suffering with so many women in the workforce and away from their homes.

Women at home provide a very valuable asset to society. They nurture and train their children. They support and help their husbands. They fix nutritious food for their family and others who need it. They help their neighbors in need. They take care of their elderly parents. They volunteer in the schools, lessening the burden on teachers. 

When women leave their homes and join the workforce, who takes care of all this? The big and impersonal government tries to with daycare, old folks' homes, paid helpers in school, etc., but a lot of the needs go unmet.

Keepers at home provide an irreplaceable value to our society that nothing can truly replace. God has a reason for women with children being in the home. None of His commands are to make life worse but to make life better. He knows most women do not have the stamina to have a career, run a home, raise godly children, and be a proper help meet to their husbands.

He doesn't command mothers to be keepers at home to take away women's equality with men, make them slaves to their homes, or make their lives miserable. He knew that women are the most protected and productive in the home and society benefits.

Well reported of for good works; if she has brought up children,
 if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saint's feet, 
if she has relieved the afflicted, 
if she has diligently followed every good work.
I Timothy 5:10

***Seek those things which are above, for you are dead to sin and 
your life is hid in Christ with God. Now believe it!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Are The Duggars Too Radical?

The Duggar family has some very strict rules for their children. They don't want their children to kiss until their wedding day. They only want the girls to give the men they are courting a side hug. If a young man wants to court their daughters, the man has to ask Jim Bob. They are never allowed alone when going out together until marriage. They must always have a chaperon.

We had fairly strict rules for our children while they lived under our roof. We taught them about purity and what God required of them. However, all of our children were out of the home by the time they began dating their spouse. When our children were in high school, we encouraged them not to date at all. We wanted them to wait until they were old enough to marry and then date to see if they were the one. What they did after they left our home was between them and God. We trusted them as they were all walking with Jesus.

This worked well for us but I can sure understand the even stricter rules the Duggars place on their children. It is protection for them and none of the children seem to mind the rules. When they talk about them, they explain why they have these rules and seem happy about them. Boundaries are always for our protection and I believe children feel protected with boundaries, but only if they don't have a rebellious spirit.

Many think kissing is innocent, but it's not. When you are married, you sure wouldn't want your spouse kissing another woman on the mouth. It definitely gets the motor running which can always be dangerous. So waiting until the wedding would absolutely help in the purity department and the Duggars are doing everything in their power to help their children remain pure until the day they marry which is what God desires according to these verses ~

For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated {separated and set apart for pure and holy living}: that you should abstain and shrink from sexual vice, that each one of you should know how to possess {control, manage} his own body in consecration {purity, separated from things profane} and honor, not in the passion of lust like the heathen {I Thessalonians 4:3-5} 

The Duggars take these verses very seriously, unlike most Christians, in our society. Many think the Duggars are way too radical in today's society but I don't know. They seem like good rules to me if measured against God's Word and His desire for us to be pure.

They are very careful to base all of their decisions on God's Word and not on society, something we all should seek to do. I would have loved a role model like them in my life when I was growing up and then raising children. 

***Seek those things which are above, for you are dead to sin and 
your life is hid in Christ with God. Now believe it!