Thursday, March 31, 2011

Confessing Your Sins

Exposing your sins to the light helps get rid of them.  Light exposes darkness.  Hiding them and not telling anyone about them...wrestling them on your own...isn't the way God intended it to be. 

He gave us others to help us in this walk down here on earth.  The body of believers are for our good.  God works through other believers. 

Ken and I have found the more we confess our sins to each other, pray for each other,  and hold each other accountable, the happier we are because we are becoming more like Christ.  GOD KNOWS WHAT HE IS TALKING ABOUT!!! 

So if you have some sin in your life and you want to conquer it, tell someone.  Someone you can trust to pray for you and challenge you to stop.  Just knowing someone is going to hold you accountable and ask you about it, is huge.  God never meant for us to go it alone.  He works through His people.  Use them...He wants us to.  Actually, He commands us to because He knows we need it.

We had a young man stay with us a few days ago.  His name is Clay.  He is a godly man.  He loves to quote scripture and he said that he hides God's Word in his heart so that he would not sin against Him {God}.  He is joyful, loves others, and loves God.  He was a pleasure to have stay with us.  The fruit of his life is evident as he follows Jesus closely.

So deal with your sin by confessing it to others and hiding God's Word in your heart.  Don't let the enemy have the upper hand.  We are in a battle down here.  We already know Who has won but don't give the enemy even a foothold in your life.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee
Psalm 119:11

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Make Him Happy!!!

It's the little things that make a great marriage and the father of your children happy.  My bible study leader said she was listening to this speaker and he said he knew his marriage had taken a dramatic turn for good when he opened the refrigerator and saw all his favorite foods in it...Wow!  So simple but so meaningful to him. 

So this Father's Day, figure out how to make the father of your children feel real special and not just for one day but on a consistent basis.  Ask him what pleases him. 

When I decided I wanted to please Ken, I asked him how I could do that ~ 

He wanted me to iron his shirts...simple, really. 

He likes it when I pick up his dirty dishes next to his chair or hug him when he walks by. 

He loves it when I smile at him when he walks in the room. 

 I like it when he holds my hand or opens the car door for me. 

He likes to know where I am going when I go someplace. 

I like it that he picks up his clothes in the bedroom and squeegees down the shower after he uses it.

 I like it that we read the Bible and pray together.

He likes it when I clean his study. 

I like it when he eats dinner with us as a family. 

He likes it when I really listen to him and don't interrupt. 

It's all these little things that is making our marriage so much better and it is good, very, very good.  Try and make every day Father's Day!  Your children will benefit greatly and learn from your example to treat others better than themselves and to serve others.

He that is married cares for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife.  She that is married cares for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. 
I Corinthians 7:33,34

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Why Do We Try To Control Those We Love?

Often it is those we love with whom we are most impatient.  This is often due to the fact that we want to control those we love.  We are called to love, and love is patient.
 Matthew Kelly

I often wondered why most of us women have this need to try and control our husbands.  This statement by Matthew Kelly was eye opening to me.  We think we know what is best. 

We do love our husbands {at first anyways}, and, therefore, we try to change them into what we want them to be by nagging, pouting, shouting, etc.  This builds a huge wall between us.  The husband puts up the wall in order to defend himself. 

No man has ever crawled out from underneath his wife's criticism to be a better man.  {Debi Pearl} 

The wall gets thicker and thicker the more we try to manipulate, change, and control our husbands.  We are blind to this.  We think it is because he is a jerk when in reality it is our disapproval and critical spirits towards them that erects that wall. 

We need someone from the outside to tell us to "STOP!"  It doesn't work.  Love them the way they are.  Let God change them.  Work on changing yourself.

It is better to live in a corner of the roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
Proverbs 25:24

Monday, March 28, 2011

Getting Offended Easily: A Sign Of Immaturity

As I have gotten older, I've realized this truth...The wiser you become, the less offended you get at things.  I use to get offended all the time by Ken.  If he said something or did something I didn't like, I would get all offended and pout, get angry, and give him the silent treatment.  It's pretty ugly now looking back on that behavior. 

When we get older, we are told to put away childish things and pouting and stewing are childish.

People have a right to their opinions or can act stupid if they want.  If we get offended by that, we are only thinking about ourselves and our feelings.  Let people be who they are, think what they want, say what they want, and act like they want.  You are not responsible for them. 

You are only responsible for your actions and responding in anger, pouting, and with the silent treatment isn't a mature way to act.  If people disagree with you in your faith, politics, beliefs, or your convictions, give them grace to believe as they want and love them anyway. 

That is what life is about, remember, loving God and loving others. Learn to dialogue with them in a loving way realizing that the relationship is way more important than being right.

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blaspheming the Word Of God?

The older women are to train the younger women to....be keepers at home...or they blaspheme the Word of God.
Titus 2:5

The dictionary's definition of blaspheme is to speak evil of; slander; abuse. Yes, it says this in the Bible.  It is pretty radical. 

I've been trying to figure out how younger women blaspheme the Bible if they aren't keepers at home.  I can only look back at my own experience and reflect on that.

 I worked full-time as a teacher until Alyssa was two.  During that time, I didn't feel like I was a good teacher, wife, or mother.  Guess who got neglected during that time?  Ken. 

I couldn't neglect my job or else I would get fired. 

I couldn't neglect Alyssa because she needed me. Actually, I did neglect Alyssa.  I had to leave her with someone else all day and by the time I picked her up after a long day of working, I was exhausted.  

Ken was definitely neglected. 

I couldn't do it all.  It was a very difficult time in my life.  I can't say anything good came out of those years.  Maybe that is why young working mothers with children at home speak evil of Scripture....It's difficult to be joyful, be the help meet you were created to be, or a good mother in these circumstances.

In my mother's day and age, husbands didn't want their wives to work.  They wanted their wives at home taking care of the home and children.  I don't see this same trend today.  Most husbands want their wives to work. 

People will say that the Proverbs 31 wife worked...She bought a field and sold the things she made.  Yes, but it all revolved around the home.  She made money from home which I think is a good thing.  But to leave your home for many hours each day, I don't think is a good thing.  I think Scripture backs me up on this one.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'm Suppose To Obey My Husband?

Ewww!  Yuck!!!  Most women aren't going to like this topic but I don't avoid topics just because they are unpleasant, if you haven't noticed already.  I think I am going to need the power of Scripture to back me up on this one.  {Actually, I try to back up everything I believe with Scripture.  My convictions are worthless without it.}  Okay, here are the verses:

That they may teach the young women to be sober , to love their husbands, to love their children,  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:4,5

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husband IN EVERYTHING. 
Ephesians 5:24

There it is.  I'm not real good at it but I'm a lot better than I use to be.  You can make up all kinds of excuses why we shouldn't have to obey or submit to our husbands but you'll have to argue with our Creator, not me.  How it looks... you will have to figure that one out but I think it means to obey your husband.  All I can say is, I'm getting better...but don't ask Ken.  He might not agree! ;)

P.S.  I know I take very politically incorrect views on most things but I have found that the more I seek to live within the parameters of God's Word, the better life becomes for me and those around me.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Do You Believe In Birth Control?

Ken and I are reading through Romans together and we were reading about those who reject God and one of them was "inventors of evil things" and birth control popped into my head. The things I write about are my convictions so if you don't agree with me that is okay. I don't have to be right about everything...I just like people to ponder some things that are contrary to popular culture's opinions.

Did you know that all the great theologians of the past, Spurgeon, Luther, etc. preached against birth control?  So what are the good things about birth control? 

You can decide when and if you are going to have children and how many. 

 They can be helpful to prevent pregnancy for a mother who is very ill and shouldn't have any more children. 

Ummmm, what else?  The negatives ~ 

The pill stops a normal bodily function, can cause breast cancer, can abort babies, is polluting our water {with large amounts of estrogen which is deforming frogs and causing all kinds of other problems}, can cause infertility in women, allows sexual promiscuity without having to worry about having children, eventually led to abortion {if you develop the mind set of when and if you should have children, you can kill them in the womb if they are an inconvenience}, led China to a one-child policy which has led to the drowning of baby girls, the spermicides used in diaphragms and condoms have dangerous chemicals that can cause cancer, takes all trust away from God providing and deciding when and how many children.  Once birth control entered America, it became a slippery slope down to the devaluing of life.

Now I am not saying all kinds of birth control are evil or sinful because the Bible doesn't address that issue directly.  I think every decision is between a husband and his wife and what they want to do about it.  I respect that.  I just thought I would give you something to think about...

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
Psalm 127:3

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mothers Working For More Stuff

If you have to work outside the home, make sure it isn't just to give your children more "stuff" or to make you feel more secure.  There are many things we can cut out of our lives in order to stay home and be "keepers at home".  Dr. Meg Meeker {a pediatrician} said:

   It’s time we mothers square away our relationship with the green stuff.
   It isn’t a living thing; it's just money. After we take charge over
   where it goes, let’s work to keep its power in our lives as limited as
   it should be.

Sacrificing time with loved ones to earn more doesn’t
   make life sunny. And if we really want to live with a sense of freedom,
   we can open our hands and let a little fly away to those who need it
   more than we do.

Earning more to buy nicer stuff for our kids doesn’t
   make us better moms—loving them better does. And as far as enjoying
   real security, there’s only one Being who can give us that, and He
   isn’t green.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Loving Your Children

Why do you think that the Bible exhorts the older women to train the younger women to love their children?  You think that would come naturally but I guess it doesn't or the Bible wouldn't have to tell us this.  The best way a mother can love her children is by loving their daddy. 

 Children love a secure home life.  A mother and father who dearly love each other is the greatest gift you can give them.  I think the second most important thing to give your children is discipline.  If you teach them self-control, they will grow up to be disciplined adults and life is much easier that way. 

Let them know at an early age who is boss.  I see too many children running the households now and it isn't a good thing.  Parents need to be parents, set good boundaries, and make sure the children live within those boundaries.  Boundaries protect them and children like feeling protected. 

Train up a child in the way they should go and when they grow up, they will not depart from it. {Proverbs 22:6}  Train them to work hard.  As soon as they can walk have them washing dishes with you and scrubbing the toilet.  Sing as you do this and tell them how blessed you are to have dishes and a toilet to clean.

If you train them to be lazy and messy, they will grow up to be lazy and messy.  Train them to be thankful and not complain.  Train them to even get along with their siblings.  Ken kept telling my children that they were best friends and that the Alexanders' didn't fight with each other and it worked!  My children rarely fought. 

Set high expectations for them.  They will grow up and thank you for it.  Most importantly, teach them about Jesus from the time they are little.  Read them Bible stories, take them to church, and sing praise songs with them.  This, I think, is loving your children.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Winning Them Without A Word

Scripture makes an INCREDIBLE promise to women....We can actually win our husbands without a word.  Win them to what....Jesus, us???  How do we win them...This is key?  Without a word! 

Wow!  We are so good at preaching to them or being disrespectful to them when they act like jerks.  But Scripture says we win them without a word as they observe our behavior.  So what should our behavior look like...loving, serving, kind, gentle, quiet {Yikes...I'm not too good at that one}, forgiving easily, not rolling your eyes when they say something stupid, etc.  There is no promise in Scripture given to men like this one. 

Women wield a lot of power through their behavior.  It is actually quite amazing.  I have taught many women Debi Pearl's book which points to Scripture as our guide.  Within a week...Yes, a week...these women come back to me and say how much their marriage has improved because they just started smiling at their husbands, being joyful around them, and stopped arguing with them.  ONE WEEK!!! 

I will ask the husbands how their relationship is going and they will tell me how great it has been lately.  They aren't sure why {they don't know about 'the book'} but they know they like this new relationship.

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives. 
 I Peter 3:1

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sex On Sunday, Part 2

One friend read my post "Sex On Sunday" yesterday and commented, "Well, he needs to be helping around the house and with the baby if he wants sexual fulfillment from his wife."  I use to think like that.  "I will do my part in the marriage, IF he lives up to his part." 

I think that is why most marriage books I use to read didn't help.  They tell you how the husband should act and how the wife should act. I would look at the way the husband was suppose to act and think how short Ken fell from treating me the way the book said he should treat me.  I was always upset with him for not fulfilling his part of the relationship.

Debi Pearl's book spoke directly to me because when we stand before our Maker, He's not going to accept excuses for my behavior because of Ken.  I am responsible for my behavior, not Ken's behavior.  He's just going to ask me how I fulfilled my part in being a wife.

Life is so much more pleasant and enjoyable when you aren't always thinking about yourself and how other people are treating you...being offended easily and placing expectations on others.  Instead, you are focused on serving and loving other people and doing what God commands you to do.

A good exercise for you to do would be to make a list of all the things your husband does that bothers you.  Now make a list next to it of how you react to those things....pout, give the silent treatment, nag, manipulate, withhold sex, yell, etc.  Ask yourself, "Now who, exactly, is in the wrong?"  Start pointing the finger once in awhile at yourself instead of always pointing it at him.

 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.
Luke 6:31

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sex On Sunday

Yes, it is Sunday and I'm going to write about sex.  I thought since God is the one who created sex, He would think it was okay that I write about it!  One young woman commented on my post yesterday that she has a hard time wanting to give much sex to her husband because she has a young baby and is very tired.  She isn't in the mood and she feels like he is thinking only about himself. 

I completely understand.  When I had four children under five and a half years old, I was exhausted all the time and didn't "feel" like having sex at all!  Now that I am older and wiser, I see the importance of meeting your husbands needs even if you are tired and don't "feel" like it. 

Never base your actions upon your feelings, base them on doing what is right.  Meeting your husband's sexual needs is always right in marriage according to Scripture {unless you're sick or in pain but even then there are usually ways to meet his needs...I know.  I was sick and in pain for over 20 years}. 

The majority of men are not perverts.  God made them to want sex..a lot of it.  Their testosterone levels are very high (250-750) compared to a women's (25-75) but God gave them all that testosterone for a very good reason ~  to go out and provide a living for their families, to defend their country and families, to stay attracted to their wives, and as Dr. Laura said, "To slay the dragons". 

God didn't give us as much testosterone because he wants us home nurturing our families and loving on them.  We are the weaker vessel and we feel like it a lot especially during the childbearing years.  God created us to be our husband's help meet first and foremost, so we must do that even when we don't "feel" like it. 

We are sure quick to meet our babies needs in the middle of the night when we don't "feel" like it.  We do it anyways because it is the right thing to do. When we are meeting our husband's needs, we are serving God because this is what He asks us to do and it is the right thing to do.

The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husbandThe wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.
I Corinthians 7:3,4

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Loving Your Husband

My sister, Debbi, and I were talking about "godly" women the other day.  Women think they are godly when they go to Bible studies, read their Bible, pray everyday, and get involved in lots of outside ministries: school, church, and community service. 

However, Scripture admonishes the older women to train the younger women to do what???  Is one of the first things they are to train the younger women to do...read their Bibles, pray, get involved in lots of activities, etc.?  No, it is to love their husbands. 

So what does loving their husbands look like?  It is described in I Corinthians 13...being patient, kind, bearing all things, enduring all things, not taking into account a wrong suffered, etc.  I think it also means to serve them and please them. 

When you truly love someone, you want to do everything you can to make them happy.  Men are not that difficult to please...lots of good food, sex, and no nagging! So go and make your husband happy!  You reap what you sow.  If you make him happy, you are likely to be happy yourself.

"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is goodso that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,..."  Titus 2:3,4

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gay Marriage


A sensitive subject, I know, but I still think it needs to be discussed.  Do you know there has never, in the history of civilization, been gay marriage...EVER!  So somehow we think that we know better than every other civilization and every other religious leader, including Gandhi, Mohammad, Jesus, and Buddha, that has ever existed what is best for a successful society.  

Gay marriage is taking something that has been the bedrock of all civilizations and casting it into muddy and uncharted waters.  God is the one that ordained marriage and that it is to be between a man and a woman.  

The Bible says that the purpose of marriage is to produce godly offspring and the two flesh shall become one.  Gay marriage cannot accomplish either of these.  The average lifespan of a homosexual male is 45 years old.  Do we as a society want to promote a lifestyle that leads to an early death and disease? 

God knows that a healthy society needs healthy marriages and that children grow up best with a mom and a dad who love each other.  Unfortunately, the church has made a mess of marriage and that is why society isn't listening to us.  It is said that Christian marriages end with almost the same divorce rate as secular marriages but this may be a myth:
Professor Bradley Wright, a sociologist at the University of Connecticut, explains from his analysis of people who identify themselves as Christians, but rarely attend church, that 60 percent of these have been divorced. Of those who attend church regularly, 38 percent have been divorced.
Even if only 38% of Christian marriages end in divorce (which is still way too high), it is not going to be helped by a first grader being asked at school, "Who do you want to marry when you grow up, a boy or a girl?" 

We, as believers, need to start exemplifying to society what good marriages should look like then maybe they will listen to us.  We need to have good reasons why we don't believe gay marriage is good for society starting with the truth that the results of gay marriage are no offspring to carry on a society.  It simply is not the natural order of things, it is not God's way, and neither is it good for society. 

That being said, we must love all people, including gays, and allow the love of Jesus to shine through us to them.  If we are to fight for marriage, it must in the arena of our Christian example to accept all people where they are and pray that God will work in their lives. 


Didn't he make them one, united in body and spirit?

And why one?  Because he wanted them to have godly offspring.

So guard your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.

Malachi 2:15

Thursday, March 17, 2011

How Have You Gone Green?

Yes, I believe we should be good stewards of this planet the Lord has created for us.  So in honor of Green Day or St. Patrick's Day I am giving you the few ways I am green.  Feel free to add anything you do to be environmentally friendly!

The ways I am green:

Eat mostly organic food.  Stay away from chemicals and preservatives.

Use vinegar, water, splash of dish soap and peppermint essential oil to clean.

Line dry almost all of my clothes. They last a lot longer!

Garden...a little.

Turn lights on only when needed. Use the heater only when it is real cold.

Use appliances and cars until they are truly broken or crashed.

Have very little clutter and seldom go to malls. Love clear counters.

Cook almost everything from scratch. SO much better for you.

Don’t use chemicals in my yard except for very rare circumstances.

Recycle as much as possible.

Compost...a little.

Use natural remedies when we are sick. VERY rarely use drugs.

Make my own laundry detergent, deodorant, skin lotion, bread, and kefir.

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Habakkuk 2:14

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Bachelor

A lot of you like this show, I know.  I have a problem with it.  I have only watched one season and that was because one of Alyssa's classmates was on it and made it to the final two.  I was kind of disgusted with it back then and sad that all the children from our school were watching it because a girl from their school was in it. 

Watching a guy make out with a bunch of girls is not fun entertainment to me.  I watched an interview with the director of it once and he said that each bachelor has slept with at least two of the girls and that they like to keep the bachelor and the girls a bit drunk so they won't be so inhibited.  What kind of a message is that sending to our children? 

Even when I was in high school, if we saw a guy making out with different girls all the time, we'd think, "Yuck!".  I read an article on AOL this morning and it said the girl that was chosen a few days ago has already broken up with the guy because she hated the way he made out with the other girls on the show. I'm not sure what she was expecting when she went on the show. 

I love a good love story like the rest of the female population doe,s but I don't think this is a healthy show for our society.  Scripture tells us to dwell on the lovely, pure, holy, etc., that there should not even be a hint of sexual immorality in our lives, and to please Him in all we do.  

I prefer to look at examples of reality like Alyssa and Jon and Erin and Ryan who sought God's will in their lives for a spouse and went about it through prayer and asking for wisdom.  God was faithful and has given them someone beyond all that they could ask or imagine just as Scripture promises. 

God knows what He's doing and has good reasons behind what He wants for us.  Dwelling on the lovely and the pure leads to a much more happy and peaceful life.  Sounds good to me!

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8

Is Your Body An Instrument Or An Ornament?

I read a quote recently by a woman that stated that she would rather use her body as an "instrument rather than an ornament".  Think how much more comfortable we, as women, would be in our bodies if we realized they were an instrument for God's purposes rather than an ornament like society says they are suppose to be...perfect hair and skin, perfect in-shape bodies, beautiful clothes and jewelry, etc. 

Some women decide they don't want to have children because it ruins their body and it requires a huge sacrifice of giving of themselves and their time.  {I hate to break it to them, but age ruins your body and we all eventually age!}  But if you look at it as a privilege to give life to another human being...as a living sacrifice, it's okay! 

I loved having children.  They are God's greatest blessing to Ken and me.  Yeah...I was real sick when I was pregnant with them and had long, hard labors and raising them was exhausting but every nauseous moment and every birth pain and every sleepless night was completely worth it.  God's gifts are definitely the best!  Raising them and watching them grow into adults has been the greatest privilege the Lord has blessed us with.

If we spend our lives for others, serving and loving them, who cares about stretch marks, wrinkles, age spots, gray hair, etc.  It means it was a body put to good use, God's use, and that is what I want.  To be used by Him, however He wants to use me.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Romans 12:1

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Value Of Mothers At Home

It is the opinion of most people that mothers in today's society must work because families need two incomes to survive in today's economy.  I was chatting with my mom's best friend, Jannis, about this. Back in her day of raising children:

Every family only had one car.

There were no cell phones, Internet, cable, computers and maybe one television.

People didn't eat out much or go on expensive vacations.

Women used cloth diapers and made meals from scratch.

Birthdays were simple affairs in the backyard with everything homemade.

Maybe our wants are too high today. The Bible tells us that  the older women are to train the younger to be...keepers at home.  You can interpret that any way you want but I think that it means mothers should be raising their own children and taking care of their husbands and homes.

Wasn't this country a much better place when the majority of mothers were home raising their children? I know there are certain circumstances like death of a spouse or divorce where women need to work. The Bible says that the church should be taking care of widows, but it doesn't do a very good job at doing that. I know a lot of people disagree with me but these are just my thoughts because I sure LOVED having my mom home all the time when I was growing up ~
She fixed us healthy, yummy food.

Everyone liked to hang out at our home because of all the good food!

When we were sick, she was there to nurse us back to health.

She had a garden and fed us out of it all summer.

She kept the house clean and orderly.

The first moment I walked in the door from school, she was there for me to talk with.

She was a great mom!  I am so thankful for her and a dad that insisted she be at home with us taking care of us.
 
To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their
own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:5

Monday, March 14, 2011

Smile, Say Less And Listen More, Pray, And Trust

This would be a good statement to write on a card and put it on your mirror to remind yourself everyday! I have got the smile part down pretty well. I like to smile at people. It makes me happy. The pray part is fairly easy for me also. I love to pray for many people in my life and watch how God answers. He is so faithful.

Trusting Him has gotten much easier the older I get. He has proven Himself trustworthy over and over again! The area I need to work on the most is "say less and listen more". I have been told this by several loving family members so I have been working on it but still have a ways to go...This will always be a project I am working on!

This quote is from a book I am reading called  A Call To Joy by Matthew Kelly. I love to read books that challenge me to become a better wife, mother, sister, friend, etc.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
James 1:19

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Or Holy In Marriage?

My best friend and I were talking the other day and she said they would probably join a small group that is studying marriage and that the goal of marriage should be holiness, not happiness. 

I've been pondering that ever since.  I've often heard that God wants our holiness, not necessarily our happiness.  I wonder...How does the outside world know we are any different if we aren't happy?  My neighbors can't tell if Ken and I have a holy marriage by observing us once in awhile but they can tell we have a happy marriage if we're always holding hands, talking, and laughing with each other. 

God's Word admonishes us frequently to rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice," "sing to the Lord a new songconsider it all joy, etc.  We should be the happiest people around, because we know all the riches we have in Christ.  This is what will attract others to Him.

However, I use to think I was very holy...much holier than Ken.  I took my kids to Awana faithfully every week.  I went to church and taught Sunday School.  I read my Bible and prayed every day but I had continual strife with Ken. 

I thought I would be happy if he would change so I went about trying to change him.  How did I possibly think this was being holy?  I just read this,  For ye are yet carnal:  for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?  {I Cor. 3:3}  

Wow!  Have you ever thought about applying that verse to your marriage?  God doesn't want there to be strife among us, especially our marriages but most marriages are filled with strife!  God wants us to be at peace with all men but I had no peace with Ken. 

Since we no longer argue and have peace, I am happy...so is he!  I finally figured out I needed to change myself and now I am happy.  Ken didn't need to change, I did.

I think happiness is a by-product of holiness.  When we are living a life the way God wants us to with Him living inside of us giving us the power to do it and set apart for Him, we are happy.  Not always, but most of the time.  {Illness and death are times we grieve and we are to grieve with those who grieve.}  Christians should be known as happy people. So smile and laugh a lot!

 Happy is that people...whose God is the Lord.
Psalm 144:15

 Happy is he...whose hope is in the Lord his God.
Psalm 146:5

This is the day that the Lord hath made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Psalm 118:24

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Best Deodorant


This may be a personal subject but this is the BEST deodorant.  Anybody who has tried it can attest to that.  You will NEVER smell again!  It is amazing stuff! You will still sweat, which you should do to cleanse your body of toxins.  Sweat allows your body to cool down but you won't smell with this deodorant.  Shirts stay clean much longer.  Ken loves it so much he even takes it when he travels.

Most store bought deodorant is full of chemicals and you are putting it on an area that is close to lymph nodes and breast tissue.  This deodorant is a bit greasy, so put it on, rub in well and wait a few minutes to put a shirt on. 

If you develop a rash from it, don't use the baking soda in it or use half the amount.  It gets hard in cold weather and is like liquid in hot weather.  When it is hard, just scrape some off with your fingernails and it will melt as soon as you put it on your skin.  

Here's the recipe:

Melt in a small saucepan ~

6 Tablespoons of coconut oil (I don't use extra virgin coconut oil, because it smells like coconut.  Use regular coconut oil. It is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.  Bacteria is what causes the smell under your arms.  Coconut oil kills the bacteria naturally.)

Stir in 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of cornstarch.

Mix together well.

As it cools off, it hardens.

I just store it in a small glass bowl on my bathroom counter.

If you don't want your tops to get greasy, just use a towel to wipe your underarms a little to get off any excess oil before putting on your top.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lessons Learned From The Tsunami

Really, really bad things happen.  Life is so fragile.  God can call us home at a moment's notice.  So many things that we think are important, are not that important.  Seeing all those cars and homes being swept away is sad, but knowing many lives were lost is SO much worse. 

Life is precious and should be valued.  Every day, every moment should be spent loving God and loving others.  God is big...really, really big.  People will question how a good God can allow this to happen. 

We live in a fallen world.  He tells us in Scripture that these things will happen.  This isn't our home.  He is preparing a place for us where there will be no more tears or pain.  These things should point our eyes upward to our true home and help us to want to live in anticipation of that time when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. {Romans 14:11} 

 We are strangers and aliens. Time is short.  Use your time wisely being salt and light in a dark and decaying world.  Love other people and serve them, especially your family.  Let your neighbors see Christ's love through you and remember to "Be not afraid!"  for He is with us and will never leave us nor forsake us.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Treasures In Trials

Trials, conflicts, battles, and testings lie along the way and are to be counted not as misfortunes but rather as part of our necessary discipline.
{Streams in the Desert}

Do you believe this to be true? The Bible does say that we are to consider it all joy when you encounter various trials because the testing of your faith produces perseverance, etc. So why are trials for our good and what do they accomplish?

I was very sick for over twenty years. I had numerous parasites for years which caused continual stomach pain and health issues. Then I had a brain tumor and had to have brain surgery. After that I had to have my neck fused because a disk in my neck was protruding into my spinal cord causing me tremendous pain and difficulty walking. So I know what pain and trials feel like. I think most people do.

However, the whole time I was going through this, I never asked, "Why me?" I think I rather thought, "Why not me?"  I knew I was missing out on a lot in life, like having no fun at all and not having friends, but I knew that what was happening to me would not be happening if God didn't allow it.

Everything that happens to us has to pass through the hands of a loving Father. I had to keep reminding myself of this truth because the biggest battle you have when you are in such pain is with your mind and your thoughts. I had to keep renewing my mind with God's truth and rest in His promises. I knew He would give me the strength I needed, would never leave me nor forsake me, and that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purposes.

I do believe the first sentence I quoted is true. God has brought a lot of good things out of my many trials. Unfortunately, we don't learn much through prosperity and good times but we do through trials. I learned so much about relying on Him, seeking those things which are above, how to be a good wife and mother, that this world isn't my home and storing my treasures in heaven is a great place to store treasure. "

The joy of the Lord is my strength!
Nehemiah 8:10

Roasted Chicken, Broth, and Soup



This is a staple in my home.  I make it about every four days and use it on top of salads, sandwiches, stir fry and soups.  When I am done taking all the chicken off, I use the bones, skin and drippings to make a yummy broth.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

I buy organic whole chickens from Costco. 

Take out the innards and give to pets or throw out.

Place the chickens in a large baking pan. 

Rub olive oil all over them. 

Salt and pepper them liberally. 

Season with garlic powder and thyme or you can use any seasonings you like. 

Put in heated oven and cook 1 and 1/2 hours. 

Set on counter and cover with tin foil for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!  I eat the skin and all.  You can make mashed potatoes and use the drippings to make great gravy.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Take off all the chicken and put all the bones, skin and drippings in a large pan and cover with water. 

Bring to a simmer and simmer for 4 or so hours...the longer the better. 

Let cool. 

Strain and put broth in the refrigerator overnight. 

In the morning, you will see a top layer of fat on it.

Skim it off and underneath it should look like brown jello. 

This is gelatin and is very good for your bones, ligaments and tendons. 

Use this to cook rice with instead of water or to make soups. 

Homemade Soup from the broth

In a large pan, saute an onion and garlic sauteed in butter and olive oil.

Add the broth and anything else you like:  brown rice, lentils, split peas, vegetables, pasta, etc. 

Season with salt, cumin, curry, pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, etc.

Cook for an hour.

Start tasting and keep adding seasonings until it tastes good.

Add in some of the chicken. 

Freeze extra portions for another day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Men Love Junk Food

Men need a wife or a mother.  Bachelors die younger than any other social group. 

Ken loves junk food.  When I married him, he lived on pizza and donuts.  That is what we argued about for many years.  I wanted him to eat healthy and he didn't want to.  So after 30 years of marriage, he likes to eat healthy...when I feed it to him. 

He knows the value of eating healthy. He even preaches it to others.  But when he's traveling, he eats junk food.  He wishes he was more disciplined.  I wish he was more disciplined but he's not.  So instead of getting upset with him, I realized God created me as his help meet and when he's home, I am going to feed him the healthy food and leave the rest to the Lord.

That is pretty much what I have been doing about anything I want changed in Ken now.  I just pray about it and let the Lord work it out.  It sure is a burden lifted off of my shoulder knowing I'm not in charge of changing him! God does a much better job.

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.Genesis 2:18

Politics

I wasn't really going to get into politics, but I've decided I write my convictions so why avoid politics.  I am a firm believer in small government and low taxes.  I wish the government would stick to what it does best...protect us. 

History proves that high taxation demotivates people to work hard.  My grandparents generation worked hard and didn't expect anything from the government.  "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country."  Or how about earning money the old fashioned way...Earn it!  Now all I see is this attitude of "Gimme, gimme, gimme" and it's sad. 

So many people have this sense of entitlement: they just deserve money be given them for free. When someone was hurting financially back in our grandparents day, the church, family or neighbors pitched in and helped.  Now everyone expects an impersonal, inefficient, and wasteful government to do it.

This soaring debt is bound to crash our economy someday and definitely puts the burden on our children and grandchildren's backs.  We can't keep giving out money as if money grew on trees.  The Bible admonishes us, not the government, to work with our own hands so we have money to share with others.

I don't want a government to tell me how to raise my kids, what light bulbs I should use, paying doctors to kill unborn babies, and kicking God out of schools.  BUT then I remember this isn't my home.  God is on His throne.  I know how the story ends and I have peace.

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. 
II Thessalonians 3:10

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Door County, Wisconsin


I'm thinking that about this time of year all my relatives in the Chicago area are longing for Door County.  My grandpa bought land there in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan (the Green Bay side) around the time I was born, 52 years ago.  He built a cabin on it and we have enjoyed vacationing there ever since. 

The water is clean and clear.

The air is fresh.

There isn't a fast food joint or stoplight within 50 miles.

Sleeping to the sound of crashing waves is heavenly. It's SO peaceful and quiet. 

We don't lock our doors. 

We keep our keys in the cars.

It seems to be a taste of what God meant for life on planet earth to be like before sin and death destroyed it all.

Both of my sisters, Alisa and Debbi, fell in love with their soul mates there, so did my daughter, Alyssa. I conceived three babies there...It is very romantic!  My daughter-in-law and my son-in-law, Erin and Jon, already love it there.  Who wouldn't?  Because of Door County, I grew up knowing most of my relatives whom I love being with.

We spend the days going on long walks,

exploring the place on mopeds,

riding on the wave runner and in Wesley's fast boat,

wake boarding,

water skiing,

swimming to the point,

relaxing in the sun on the dock,

singing around the campfire making smores,

golfing,

shopping in all the quaint stores,

happy hour with my sister, Alisa, having margaritas and nachos,

family dinners with fresh caught white fish and wine (and of course, my salads),

eating,  talking,  eating,  talking,

going to Not Licked Yet for the most incredible frozen custard that melts before you can eat it,

eating homemade pizza at the Wild Tomato,

watching the beautiful sunsets on the deck.

Did I miss anything? Oh my, do we all long for Door County!

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
I Chronicles 29:11