Saturday, April 30, 2011

Expectations Kill Relationships

Do not expect your husband to live up to all your expectations.  Instead, give your expectations to God.  This will cause you to be grateful for anything {and everything} he does.  Expectations can destroy your relationship!
{Profile of a Godly Woman by Ray Powell}

When I got married, I had a lot of expectations from Ken ~ 

I expected him to be romantic with me A LOT. 

I expected him to:  help me clean the house, put the toilet seat down, say wonderful things about me all the time, eat healthy, clean up his mess, not watch much television, read the Bible and pray with me everyday, let me be right after every argument, chase me when I was mad at him and apologize to me. {Yeah...I was pretty bad!}  

Others would tell me that he wasn't a very good husband, because he didn't help with the babies much and help me clean the house.  Then I would get really mad at him hoping that would change him into the husband I wanted him to be.  {Even though he was busting his buns going to school, working full-time, and traveling to provide for us.} 

How I wish I didn't place all those expectations on him and loved him for ~ 

working so hard, being faithful and kind, loving me, being a wonderful father, letting me spend pretty much what I wanted on all my organic food, not trying to change me, listening to me and always giving me wise advice, being a man of integrity, honesty, and generosity. 

Now, I see clearly all his wonderful traits and don't even notice his faults.  Maybe that is because he is perfect now! ;)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
I Corinthians 13:4,5


Friday, April 29, 2011

Who Is The Rich One?

A woman lives in a double-wide trailer in Illinois on a farm with a husband and nine children.  Her husband adores her and they have a fabulous marriage.  Their nine children are well-behaved, work hard, and love each other.  They home school their children.  They grow a lot of their own food.  She's birthed most of her babies at home except two of them who needed C-sections.  They sing and laugh a lot together.

Martha Stewart has millions of dollars and several gorgeous homes.  She takes exotic vacations and probably has her own jet.  She hangs out with the rich and famous and has met many movie stars.  She is even friends with a lot of them.  She has her own television shows and even her own network now.  She is rich and powerful in society's eyes.

BUT, I want to ask you....Who really is the rich one?

But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. And if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang. But flee from these things, you man of God; and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness."
I Timothy 6:6-11

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Emotional Attraction vs. Physical Attraction

Chemistry...What is it exactly?  Alyssa and I were on a walk and started  talking about this subject.  We think for men, chemistry is a physical thing.  They are very visual so when they see a woman they are attracted to, there is chemistry for the man. 

Women are not as visual.  We feel chemistry when our emotions get involved.  I wasn't attracted to Ken when I first met him.  There were many qualities I liked about him, but I didn't feel chemistry at first.  Then he started writing me love letters and saying nice things to me and I started feeling attracted to him. 

 Alyssa was saying the same thing.  At the very beginning, when she met Jon, she thought he was a great guy and good looking but it took him several days {not long ;) of flirting with her and saying nice things to her to win her heart {or emotions}.

What I take from this?  It is another area which proves men and women are different!  Men are more visual and women are more emotional.  Women should try to look their best before marriage because men are definitely more visual, but they also should try to look their best after they are married.  Men are still visual even after marriage!  We should aim to keep our man happy and that chemistry alive!

An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world--how she can please her husband
I Corinthians 7:34

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Bottom Line

Okay, the bottom line to having a good marriage is learning to be unselfish.  I think it all boils down to that.  The more we can forget about ourselves and think of our spouse, the better our marriage will be. 

Think about it...All arguments come from our not getting our way.  Even James, from the Bible, says,  What causes fight and quarrels among you?  You aren't getting your way.  {My paraphrase} 

What was the last quarrel you had?  Ken and I will sometimes quarrel {very rarely now because we stop before it goes anywhere} because we remember something happening differently.  "No, we sang that song!"  "No we didn't, it was this song!"  I wanted to be right.  I KNEW it was this song...Kinda pathetic isn't is. 

The only thing that we should be angry about is sin and the devil.  If your spouse is involved in some type of sin, confront them on it but even then, to argue about it leads to nothing good.  Confront them then start praying like crazy that God will convict them. 

So, in conclusion, I can honestly say, the more unselfish I have become, the better our marriage has become.  And I know I can do all things through Christ who lives within me. That means I can even be unselfish because Christ lives within me!

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves
Philippians 2:3

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Immunizations: Yes or No?

This is a very controversial subject and I am just going to give my opinion.  You must research it carefully and decide for yourself what you want to do. 

When we had small children, Ken and I spent a lot of time researching the subject.  From our research, we discovered that most diseases decreased as sanitation got better.  This seemed to be the biggest factor in stopping the spread of diseases.  The modern sewer system helped immensely also, as did the practice of good hygiene.  Immunizations started about the same time. 

The side effects of immunizations seemed too big of a risk to take and a healthy immune system can fight most of the diseases that immunizations supposedly prevent.  Researching what the immunizations were made of made us cringe...pus from sickened animals, mercury, preservatives, and other ugly stuff. 

So we decided not to immunize our children.  None of my mom's seven siblings were immunized, few of my many cousins were, and none of my nieces or nephews were.

Steven (who is 23 years old) had to get a few immunizations several years ago for dental school.  He went to a doctor who is very concerned about the side effects of them, so he gave him one at a time and spaced them out at least six weeks apart.  He ordered them from a factory that makes them for autistic children, with no added mercury or preservatives.  It was more expensive, but I thought it was worth it.

On the matter of getting into school, all I had to do was sign a waiver for all of my children and I had no problems.  You might want to check it out because each state is different.

If you do want to immunize your child, I would suggest waiting until they are older, spacing the shots out, and getting as few as possible.  Also, make sure you keep their immune systems strong. (A Healthy Immune System ) I have never been the type to just go along with what everyone else is doing.  I like to research it and find out what I believe to be the best way.  I suggest you do the same!  Because we are to be as "wise as serpents and innocent as doves"!

Here is a good website to get more information on this subject: Think twice

Dr. Mendelsohn, a pediatrician for 30 years, wrote a book entitled, "How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite Of Your Doctor," wrote the following:

"There is a growing suspicion that immunization against relatively harmless childhood diseases may be responsible for the dramatic increase in autoimmune diseases since mass inoculations were introduced.  These are fearful diseases such as cancer, leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease, lupus erythematosus, and the Guillain-Bare syndrome...Have we traded mumps and measles for cancer and leukemia?"

The following is from my daughter-in-law, Erin, who graduated from college with a biology major and is incredibly intelligent.  I asked for her perspective because she understands the science behind it better than I do.

"Let me be clear: I am not opposed to immunizations. I am opposed to infant immunizations. And all the stuff they put in vaccines that you wouldn’t choose to put in your body if you knew it was in there.

Or maybe you would. I guess there was that guy who spent his life eating glass and metal…

When the body is faced with an infection, it produces antibodies to the infecting pathogen. Vaccination intentionally introduces pathogens to a body, and is intended to simulate—in a safe environment (i.e. attenuated viruses)—contracting the illness, thus familiarizing your body with a deadly assailant and preventing a major infection in the future should you, by some strange occurrence, happen to contract said deadly assailant.

Immunizations—especially after a booster shot—cause the body to produce antibodies for years, much like contracting the disease would. They are highly effective (…not talking about the flu vaccine here) in the amount and type of antibody they stimulate and the length of time the disease resistance persists.

Granted, if you have a healthy immune system, which stems mainly from a good diet, your body has probably built immunities to a lot of the things people get shots for these days.

Infant vaccinations are recommended because the antibody-making functions are at an all-time high when their immune system is developing. Essentially, you’re piggybacking deadliness on top of the goodness, hoping to stimulate an impenetrable resistance to many different diseases.

However,  an infant’s immune system is not developed at three months. In fact, their immune system is at its lowest point at that time. That is the transition period where the immunoglobulins acquired through the mother’s breast milk and placenta are being replaced with the infant’s own active immunity, built through natural contact with the outside world.

Interested? Here’s a summary:

In my opinion, it just doesn’t make sense to throw a bunch of deadly diseases (albeit supposedly dead specimens) and heavy metals/ toxins into a mostly defenseless baby body.

It kinda makes me cringe a little, actually. If there happens to be a live virus, or other bug….not a good situation. They can’t defend themselves.

Let me reiterate: adults have fully-developed immune systems. Infants don’t have anything close.

God Hates Divorce

Why do you think that is?  I think it must be the destruction that it leaves in its path...hurt children, hurt spouses, hurt family members, hurt society...When I was first married I thought that if Ken cheated on me, I would definitely divorce him because the Bible says I can. 

As I have grown older and wiser, I no longer think I would divorce him if he cheated on me.  Just because the Bible says I can (and the only reason the Bible says you can is because of the hardness of your heart), doesn't mean it is God's way.  He hates divorce because it is so bad for everyone involved.  To see a marriage restored after something like infidelity is a beautiful thing.  God can make all things new! 

I also believe that it usually takes two to ruin a marriage.  When a man cheats, it's easy to point to him and say it's all his fault.  What about the wife?  From my experience mentoring many women, the wife has a lot of fault in the destruction of the marriage also....critical spirit, withholding sex, gossiping about him to others, disrespecting him in front of others, etc.  It seems the only reason to divorce should be if there is physical abuse towards the children or wife. 

Now, I am not judging any of you who have gotten divorced.  Most of you didn't have an example of what a good marriage looked like, an older woman training you to be the wife you should be, or you truly married a bad man but we can start working on turning this monster of divorce around. 

If you are an older women, start teaching the younger woman how to love their joyful, stop arguing, learn what pleases them, etc.  Let's get to work!

For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel, and covering one's garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless
Malachi 2:16

Monday, April 25, 2011

Do You Burp A Lot?

If you do, it means you have a bad gallbladder and you should be doing something quickly to get it healthy or you will be having it cut out.  Another sign of a bad gallbladder is small bumps on the back of your upper arms.  Both are signs that your gallbladder is in trouble. 

Ken had a very bad gallbladder.  He's had many gallbladder attacks and they are not fun.  He wanted to get it out very badly so he wouldn't have the intense pain of a gallbladder attack anymore.  After listening to Dr. Marshall (Healthline) for awhile, I now know how important it is to do everything you can to keep your gallbladder. 

It digests fats and we need good, healthy fats (organic coconut oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, and butter). God gave our gallbladder to us for a good reason.  I know lots of people live without one, but you should do everything you can to keep it.  You will be healthier in the long run.

Ken ate lots of junk growing up. That contributes to a bad gallbladder.  Whenever people talk about their children burping a lot, I think "bad gallbladder."  My children never burped, but I rarely fed them junk so their gallbladders should be healthy. 

Ken went on numerous gallbladder cleanses and stopped eating dairy.  He rarely has trouble with his gallbladder anymore.  He hasn't had an attack in many years.  He'll still get a mild stomachache if he eats dairy but nothing like an attack. 

You CAN heal your gallbladder but it will mean a change of diet.  It will be worth it.  Most people in America want a pill or surgery to make them better instead of making dramatic lifestyle changes that will truly make them better.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yummy Healthy Brownies

These are "to die for" brownies....seriously, they are that good! Keep them in the freezer and they will last a long time (but I doubt they will be in there for long!). They taste incredible frozen or right out of the oven....or even room temperature. ;)

In small pan on the stove~

Melt 1/2 cup butter
Stir in 1 3/4 cup succanat (or organic sugar)
Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and 2 eggs and beat well

Mix in another bowl~

1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder

Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients and stir well.
Pour into an 9 X 9 greased pan.
Sprinkle chocolate chips on top.
Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad is 80 years old today! He has been a very good dad...faithful, loving, and hard working. I never had to worry if he was going to come home or not. I never had to worry if he loved me. He refused to let my mom work. He knew her place was in the home taking care of us three girls. He attended church faithfully every Sunday. He was usually involved in some type of Bible study or small group. He is an honest man, full of integrity. When I was so ill all those years, he was always there finding me the best doctors and nursing me to health. I could always count on him for anything. I love him very much and I am so thankful that he pointed me to Jesus by the life that he lived.

Being Easter Sunday, I also have to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for loving me so much that He paid the penalty for all of my sin by taking God's wrath upon Himself so that I could have life abundantly, not only now but forever. Nothing else makes me happier than to know who I am in Christ and all the riches I have in Him!

He is not here; for he is risen, even as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
Matthew 28:6

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Men As Protectors, Women As Nurturers

My son-in-law loves protecting and providing for Alyssa.  He wants her a safe neighborhood, in a safe car, safe with him.  My son, Ryan, wants the same for Erin and his baby.  They are both looking for homes for their new families and the number one priority for both of them is safety.  That is their job given by God to be providers and protectors and they both take that job very seriously. 

Alyssa loves taking care of her home and new husband.  She loves shopping for him and providing healthy food for him.  She loves decorating her home and making it cozy and clean. 

Erin is the same.  She loves staying home with her baby and loving on her husband.  When it is a holiday, she goes to the dollar store and buys inexpensive things to decorate her home with and make it homey.  She loves to seek out bargains and use their money wisely.  Both Alyssa and Erin are nesters and nurturers.  This is the way God designed it to be. 

Our society has gotten so out of whack.  The roles are so blurred.  It is so beautiful to watch the roles being played out the way God intended for them to be confusion, just love and harmony.  His ways are so good...

For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
Ephesians 5:23

Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
Titus 2:4,5

Friday, April 22, 2011

My New Kitten

Life does not get much better than this!!! 
My daughter-in-law Erin, my daughter Cassi, my granddaughter Emma Rose and my kitty Rascal.

Clutter~ Your Worst Enemy

Well, it is probably not your worst enemy, the devil is, but it isn't a good thing in your life.  The best way to stay organized, I have found, is to not have much clutter.  Stop buying things you don't need.  When you do buy something, try and find something to get rid of. 

A clean, uncluttered home is good for the soul.  It is restful and peaceful.  It is easier to stay organized and clean without much clutter.  I read Clutter's Last Stand by Don Aslett years ago and it made quite an impression on me.  He really talks about clutter and how little stuff we really need.  Hey, it's all going to burn some day anyway, so why let it mess up your life?

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

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Efficiency of Sex

"Younger men, every day.  Older men, every three days.  Forget about 'wanting to' because sex is the most efficient way to take care of your provider.  Women think, 'If I cook enough...If I take care of the children and home...If I give him respect...If I look pretty...etc. it'll add up to what sex provides for men.' NOTHING will replace his wife desiring him.  When he gets connected with her through sex, he gets connected to the whole world.  So the amount of time it takes to fix your hair, is the time it takes to improve your marriage."

These statements were made on the Dennis Prager radio program this morning.  He had Allison Armstrong with him who does seminars entitled, Satisfying Men, Celebrating Women.  Every Wednesday at 10:00, he has a Male Female Hour which is always very interesting.  I loved today's program.  I think it needs to be said. 

I wrote about it before:  Sex On SundaySex On Sunday (Part 2).  The only thing I disagree with is that sex is great and men need lots of it.   If you are giving them sex every day but the rest of the day, you are trying to manipulate, change, and control them, you will not have a good marriage.  I know.  I did that exact thing.  We loved each other, but didn't enjoy each other and were not emotionally close.

In the matter of having sex when you don't feel like it, you may think,  "I would be a hypocrite then if I did something I didn't feel like doing."  Remember that you are NEVER a hypocrite when you do something in obedience to God instead of following your feelings.

But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.  The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.  The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.
I Corinthians 7:2-4

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Should You Wait to Have Children?

Many people have counseled my children to wait a few years after getting married to have children. Yes, I understand their reasoning...Enjoy each other for awhile because your life changes dramatically after children.  I think..."Yeah, it becomes even more wonderful with children!"

If a couple was given $1,000,000 on their honeymoon night, they would be ecstatic.  If they were given a baby, they would most likely be scared and disappointed.  But God said that children are a blessing from Him, not money, yet we, even Christians, seem to value money over children.  Yes, you might be "poor" for awhile.  It depends on what you define as poor. 

Ryan and Erin don't have a lot of money, if measured in American society, but compared to the world, they are rich.  They have a warm place to live and good food, and they are rich in relationships, which I think really defines rich.  They were blessed with a honeymoon baby.  Look at the picture in my last post to see how absolutely precious that honeymoon baby is! 

My children are our greatest blessing.  They have been hard work but have brought us so much joy.  For my married children to want children when they get married seems like the way it should be.

 Once I was married, I couldn't wait to have children. I had no desire to work, go to school, or travel. Having a husband, a home, and children was all I wanted to do and I think that is a very good desire created by our Creator.  We are called to be "living sacrifices" and what better thing can you sacrifice for than eternal human beings? 

Remember....This is my opinion and I respect yours if it is different from mine.  I'm not God.  I don't know everything.  I just have convictions and love to share them.

Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.  Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth.  Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
Psalm 127:3-5

Has not [the LORD] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.
Malachi 2:15

Blessed are all who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways.  You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.  Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
Psalm 128:1-3

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Introducing My Grandbaby!

Her name is Emma Rose and she is precious! This is a picture with her daddy, my wonderful son, Ryan. He is such a good daddy. He plays with her like she is his toy...It is so cute! Erin is an amazing mother. She is so madly in love with her precious little girl. Emma is starting to "coo" and smiles quite a bit. She has won all of our hearts...

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

Raising Healthy Children

When I was growing up, I can't remember anybody with allergies, asthma, or autism.  We always had cats and no one seemed allergic to them.  I heard a statistic that 1 in 30,000 children use to have autism.  Now it is 1 in 98. 

Something is going wrong...A book that I referred to frequently when I was raising children was How To Raise Healthy Children In Spite Of Your Doctor.  The author, Dr. Mendelsohn, was a pediatrician for over 30 years and gives good, solid advice. 

He wrote that when your child is sick or has an infection of any kind, take him off all sugar and feed him real healthy. I gave my children lots of fruit and lemon, honey water. 

He believed the immune system was very powerful and God knew what he was doing when he created our bodies.  Fevers are good (unless they are extremely high).  They burn away the bad bugs and infections.  Coughing is good.  It is your bodies way of getting rid of mucous.  Drugs don't heal.  They just treat the symptoms but don't get to the root cause of illness.  They are toxic to the body....Read all the side effects of any drug. Your immune system is what heals. {A Healthy Immune System}

Dr. Mendelsohn found that children with ear infections healed just as quickly whether they were given antibiotics or not.  The only difference was the ones who were given antibiotics had reoccurring ear infections and the other ones that were given no antibiotics did not have reoccurring ear infections.  The body had built up an immunity to the infection. 

When Steven was young, he was very allergic to poison ivy.  Every spring his face would swell up like a balloon and he looked terrible.  Everyone thought I should take him to the doctor for cortisone shots.  I didn't want that.  Know what?   Every summer, he was less and less swollen until he was hardly affected by it.  His own immune system built up an immunity to it.

None of my children had allergies or asthma growing up.  Since the boys left home and ate college food, they have both developed an allergy to cats. They never had that when they were home eating my good, healthy food. 

I believe all the antibiotics and hormones in our meat and milk is messing up the gut and good health begins with a healthy gut.  Did you know 25% of girls are starting puberty at seven years old now from all the hormones in the meat and milk?  Not good...

When my children went to kindergarten, I think the required amount of immunizations was five.  Now it is something like 35.  That sounds way too extreme for me.  We chose not to vaccinate any of our children after reading all the pros and cons.  This is up to each family to decide, however, but I encourage you to study up on it.  Health is a precious thing to lose.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  I Corinthians 10:31

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken Parmesan - A Family Favorite

This is a very easy meal and great for company!  It is a good dish if you are going to feed a large crowd.  This is definitely my family's favorite dinner.

In a large pan:

Melt one stick of butter.

 Take 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breast and cut them into long, narrow strips.

Lay in the pan on top of the butter.

In blender or Cuisinart add:

3 slices of whole wheat bread

1 cup of Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sea salt 

Several stems of parsley or cilantro, if desired

Blend until crumbly.

Spread bread mixture over chicken.

Sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  If it starts getting too brown, cover with tin foil.

I put this on top of my Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and whole wheat pasta with some Parmesan cheese.

The Paradox of Obedience to God

God wants me to be generous. I want my stuff! I don't want to give it away. I might need it. I might not have enough for me if I give too much away. 

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously
II Corinthians 9:6

God wants us to submit to our husbands. That sounds awful....Me do what he wants? He will then take advantage of me. He will make me do things I don't want to do. Besides he's no better than I am!  There must be another definition for submit, like, maybe "adapt". 

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:22

God wants me to serve others. I want others to serve me and make me happy. Let them do it for themselves. I am too tired to serve others.  

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another.  Galatians 5:13

God wants us to be sober and not get drunk.  He wants us to be moderate in everything...including eating.  He wants the marriage bed to remain pure.  He wants us to keep our eyes on the lovely, the pure, and the good.  He wants us to love others and treat them how we want to be treated.

Growing up, I thought living for Jesus sounded pretty boring.  Lots of people think that, but know what? The more generous I have become, the more I have learned to submit to my husband, and the more I have learned to serve others, the MUCH happier I have become. Imagine that! My Creator knows better than me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Choose To Be Content

I felt horrible for over 20 years. I made a conscious decision when my children were small that I wasn't going to complain about it because I wanted them to enjoy life even if I wasn't. Just because I was miserable, didn't mean I wanted to make their lives miserable. When they were sick, I would teach them to suffer in silence. I would take good care of them, but I didn't want them groaning and moaning.

I asked Erin if Ryan was a baby when he was sick because most guys are. She responded, "I don't even know when he feels poorly because he doesn't tell me."  Good job, Ry! We aren't to grumble or complain, instead godliness with contentment is great gain

God teaches us many things through our pain, mostly reliance on Him and that this isn't our home. We are just passing through and we need to be salt and light in a dark world, especially through our sufferings and trials.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Philippians 4:12

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Almond Crunch Coffee Cake

This is definitely a crowd pleaser, plus it is healthy.  I actually don't make many things that aren't healthy because I believe the purpose of eating is to nourish your body.  In order for your car to run well, you need to give it good gas.  In order for you to run well, you need to give it good food.  Even people who don't like whole wheat, healthy food like this!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Almond Topping:

Blend until crumbly~
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 Tablespoons organic sugar
1 Tablespoon soft butter
Stir in 1 cup chopped almonds

In a separate bowl:

Blend thoroughly~
2 eggs
3/4 cup honey
Mix in 1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk, or rice milk, with 1 teaspoon lemon juice)

Blend in separate bowl:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Blend dry ingredients into liquid ingredients until smooth.
Pour into greased 9" X 13" pan.  Top evenly with almond topping.

Bake about 30 minutes until knife comes out clean.
For more great recipes, check out: Tasty Thursday

I Don't Love Him Anymore

Do you know that love is not a feeling but a choice? It is even more than that, it is a command given to us by God to love others.

If you don't "feel" in love with your husband anymore, can I offer you a challenge to love him anyways in obedience to God? Even though you don't feel love, treat him like you love him and the feelings will most likely follow. Never base your actions upon your feelings.  Base them on doing what is right in obedience to God.

We are to love God. There are no feelings involved in loving God. Sure, once in awhile you will get emotional and feel great joy in your love for God but mostly it is a commitment to love Him by obeying Him.

His greatest commandment to us is to love Him and love others. That "others" most definitely includes that husband you have promised to love and cherish until you die. So love on him. You do things God's ways and you will reap His blessings. You do things man's ways and you will reap man's blessings. God's blessings are so much more superior and lasting than man's blessings.

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue;  but in deed and in truth
I John 3:18

And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment
I John 3:23

Beloved, let us love one another:  for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God
I John 4:7

Friday, April 15, 2011

Don't Argue Anymore

I have mentored many women on becoming better wives.  I wasn't a good one at all until eight years ago, as you know, if you've been reading my writings for any amount of time. 
If I give any advice to women who are struggling in their marriage, the first thing I tell them is to stop arguing.  It took me a long time to stop arguing...I had to bite my tongue A LOT but eventually I stopped and our marriage became so much better. 

Practice makes perfect.  I used to practice arguing and was really good at it.  Now I practice not arguing and I'm becoming very good at it.  It is NEVER too late to change. 

The Bible says in I Timothy, the servant of the Lord must not strive
{argue}, but be gentle unto all men {I assume this includes being gentle to our husbands}. 

Many places in the Bible it states that quarrelling and arguing should not be part of a believer's life.  It accomplishes nothing.  I needed to learn how to discuss things with Ken without arguing.  I still give my opinion but I don't have to be right and I only need to give it once...not over and over again.  It is possible to change your ways.  I am proof of that.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. 
Psalm 133:1 diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:3

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:18

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

This is one of my family's favorite that I have been making for years!

In a large pan:

Brown 2 lbs. of meat {ground turkey or beef}  in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil 

Salt the meat with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper

Add 1 large, chopped onion and cook 15 minutes

Add several minced cloves of garlic (or more if you love garlic)

Add 25 oz. jar of a marinara or spaghetti sauce

2 14.5 oz. cans of diced tomatoes

1 14.5 oz. can of fire roasted tomatoes

2 Tablespoons dried oregano (or fresh if you have it)

2 Tablespoons dried basil (or a big handful of fresh)

1-2 Tablespoon sugar or a small squirt of Stevia {optional}

pinch of cayenne

Simmer 2-3 hours uncovered.  Start tasting and slowly adding more salt, pepper, sugar, and cayenne until it is seasoned to your liking.  We use this sauce on whole wheat pasta with fresh Parmesan cheese.  I add fresh mushrooms and broccoli to it sometimes the last 1/2 hour of cooking.

Created To Be His Help Meet

This is the BEST book my husband has never read!  It radically changed my life and marriage and it does the same for most of the women I have given it to in the past eight years, more than any other book on marriage.  

This is why I want to defend this book.  The Pearls don't need me to defend them because God is their defender, however, I want to give my puny voice to their defense anyways.  

Many Christians call it a "dangerous book" and slander the Pearls, making false accusations against them.  One woman wrote a long article on her blog saying how terrible the book was and that Debi counsels women to stay with abusive husbands.  I wrote her back and asked her to show me where Debi writes that in her book. 

She gave a story from the book about a husband that abused his wife.  Debi counseled her to either stay with him and win him without a word OR pack her bags and leave.  Debi thought she would leave but the woman stayed with him and ended up winning him without a word.  

Debi used an extreme true-to-life story to encourage us that if this woman, with an abusive husband, could win her husband, maybe many of us with good husbands could win them without a word.  

But on page 79, Debi states:  "Of course, there are a few men who are so cruel and violent that even when the wife is a proper help meet, he will still physically abuse her or the children. In such cases, it would be the duty of the wife to alert the authorities so that they might become the arm of the Lord to do justice."

Another criticism thrown against them is that Debi is dogmatic and harsh.  She is blunt, but I like that.  I needed that and I think a lot of women do.  I felt like she spanked me and it worked.  I am mentoring two women and they both get offended at some of the things Debi writes and it is difficult to read at times but they love it...It is changing their marriage.  We don't need our ears tickled anymore...We need truth.  This is why I love her book and the Pearl's teachings. 

They also wrote a book many years ago called To Train Up A Child.  We read it a few years ago and decided we had raised our children exactly as they instruct in their book.  All four of our children are walking with Jesus.  

People say that they promote child abuse.  They don't.  They just want children to be raised to be disciplined, obedient to authority, hard-working, and good citizens.  Seems like we could use a lot more of that.

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becomes holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  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 2:3-5