Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Home Centered Lady

If we have the courage to take an open-hearted, honest look at the portrait the Bible paints of a truly fulfilled biblical woman, we will find some startling, long-neglected truths. Don't color verses from Scripture with our American culture brush, but let the following verses speak for themselves. A praiseworthy biblical woman looked like the following according to Psalm 128:3, Proverbs 14:1, Proverbs 31, I Timothy 5:9,10, and Titus 2:5 ~

Gives her husband children if she is able and makes her home a pleasant place.

Puts her time and energy into the betterment of her own household.

Takes joy in her daily tasks, as doing them unto the Lord; working with her hands to enhance her home and family.

Puts a lot of thought and planning into how she can provide the healthiest food to her family for the best price, even if it means going some distance to obtain it.

Takes extra time and care to prepare good, nutritious food for her household.

Finds a "bit of earth" where she can grow good things for her household 
and others around her.

Enjoys being creative and making beautiful things.

Always keeps in mind those who are in need, sharing what she can
with them. Is concerned for her neighbors.

Does what she can with her own two hands instead of depending on others to provide.

Finds creative ways to work from home to bring in a little extra income.

Takes the management of her household seriously, trying her best to be 
prepared for the unexpected and makes sure her family will not be in need.

Watchful over her children, concerned with every aspect of their well-being.

Opens her home to visitors.

Welcomes believers into her home for fellowship.

Available when someone might need her.

Is the guardian, watcher and gatekeeper of her home.

This is a home-centered lady who does what she does every day first and foremost for the benefit of her husband, her children and her home. She works with her hands, grows a garden, prepares good food...this is how it has been for the majority of women for thousands of years. It is only within the relatively recent past that there has even been a choice regarding whether or not a woman would do these things. They were necessary for the very existence of her family. {Is society any better for having women leave their homes and working away from their families?}

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Black And White, Unemotional And Not Affectionate

These are the words Jessa Duggar and her family used to describe her: black and white, unemotional, and not affectionate.  There was no condemnation or judging from anybody, just matter-of-fact, when they were saying these adjectives. This is her personality. I have the same personality and I grew up thinking it was bad.

Every summer, we would go to Wisconsin where all my mom's family vacations. I dreaded when we arrived because I knew all my aunts would hug me! I didn't like hugging when I was young. {Now I love to hug and I cry fairly easily now also.} At movies, my mom and sisters would be balling their eyes out and I wouldn't shed a tear. Something must be wrong with me, I always thought! As you can tell from my writings, I also am very black and white.

I have come to understand that being black and white, unemotional and  not affectionate are not sins! We all have different personalities and I love how the Duggars seem to just accept each child with their personality traits and encourage them often.

Some girls are out going and bubbly. Others are quiet and not too talkative. That is okay. There is no right or perfect personality. God created us all different. He never says in His Word to talk a lot {actually He tells us to not talk too much}. He never says we have to be bubbly and affectionate or even cry at movies. We are called to love others, be good listeners, and serve others but we must allow our children to blossom with their own individual personalities and love them just the way they are.

The kids long for the day when they can get out of the home and spend time with people who accept them as they are. {Michael Pearl} I encourage you to accept your children the way they are with their unique personalities. They are made in God's image and continue to reaffirm to them who they are in Christ, new creature and overcoming all things in Christ.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: 
old things are passed away; 
behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

Michael Pearl wrote a fabulous article called Who Defines Your Children? 
that is well worth reading.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Reason We Refuse To Submit

Fear is the chief motivator behind most women's struggles with submission and trust. Consider Sarah, the wife of Abraham. He told her to lie to the Egyptians and tell them she was his sister so she obeyed him. God protected her and struck Pharoah's house with a plague.

Whenever I teach about submission, I always get a lot of "what ifs" to disqualify women submitting to their husband. The "what if" game is always, always based on fear. "Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear." {I Peter 3:6}

We, as women, think our husbands are incapable of leading. Our husbands hear this message from us loudly and often. We have a tendency to speculate and meditate endlessly on what might happen if we don't get our way. We somehow think we know much better than our husbands or even God.

We won't really know what God has in mind, if we never let things get beyond our ability to control. If you don't allow your husband to step off that cliff once in a while, you will be doomed to go through the same problem over and over. God many times uses failure in our lives to teach us and get us to where He wants us to be.

Sarah sometimes exercised great faith, and at other times she stumbled in fear. She followed her husband through all of his failures and his successes. In everything, her faithful God watched over her, protected her and walked with her through the long journey of her life with her husband, Abraham. Will He do no less with us?

How many blessings are we missing out on because we are afraid to truly submit to and allow our husbands to lead? How come we don't let him have the final word? How come we fight God's command to us on this and hold onto our rights so vehemently? Let's not do this anymore, okay? Let's obey God and allow our husbands to lead us in the way they see fit and trust our heavenly Father with the outcome. Can we all shake on this?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stuck in Romans Seven

Too many Christians are stuck in Romans seven. A precious young woman that I have mentored recently wrote this on her Facebook page,  "Trying to find some motivation to workout and eat better. 'I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate." {Romans 7:15} Many Christians use this as an excuse for their sin. "Well, if Paul struggled, of course I will struggle."

This is wrong thinking! In Romans seven, Paul is telling us what life is like while living under the law or walking in the flesh. If you read Romans six and eight, you find out about our new lives in Christ, walking in the Spirit, and covered in His grace. 

Let me just give you a few verses to remind you that you can now do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you ~

"How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? ...As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace...Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness...But now being made free from sin and become servants to God ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life...For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death...That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit..But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you."{Taken from Romans 6 and 8}

Stop speaking lies to yourself but be transformed by the renewing of your mind with God's Word. He tells you that you are dead and freed from sin. When you are tempted to sin, remind yourself of this beautiful Truth. I believe in order to be transformed, you must spend a lot of time in God's Word at the feet of Jesus. You must read the Truth continually. This is how you transform your mind.

Way too many Christians spend very little, if any, time studying and meditating upon God's Word. You will never have victory over sin if you try to do it yourself. You must spend lots of time with Jesus and continually ask Him to give you the strength to overcome your weaknesses and sins. We are not puppets on a string. He gave us free will and tells us to discipline ourselves for the purpose of godliness.

There is nothing better than walking in the Spirit close to Jesus and putting on the full armor of God. Jesus died to give you an abundant life but you will never experience that life if you try and do it on your own. Get serious about time in God's Word. Make it a priority in your life every morning if you can. Begin your day with Him and see how much easier it is to walk in the Spirit with His transforming Word in your mind and heart.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Laine's Letters And Paying Off Debt, Part 3

Laine was able to pay off her home in Southern California even though her husband never made more than $29,000 a year. She was extremely careful with her money and always asked God for wisdom. I am summarizing her letter on paying off debt. The series begins HERE.

The above picture is of our dining room. The dining set was passed down from my parents. It's a large table and we have shared many wonderful family memories here. The chandelier was a gift from my parents when we moved to our last home so we brought it to this home 16 years ago! The beautiful centerpiece was made by my very talented daughter-in-law who has her own etsy shop HERE. She did all the flowers at both of my daughters' weddings.

9 ~ I save a lot of money on food by cooking from scratch and by continuing to try new recipes in my kitchen. I make a lot of things from scratch including some cleansers and cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, etc. I make almost all of our bread and keep stretching myself in this area to include all types of bread. "In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all that he has." {Proverbs 21:20} I pray before I shop, while I shop, and then after I shop as to what I will cook. I love shopping with the Lord! I shop from many stores and loss leaders so I shop weekly. About eating out, that is something we don't do very often, so it's really special when we do eat out. I love the Dollar Stores and have found many great deals there. Also Big Lots is another favorite of mine. It's really amazing how much you can save by simply staying home. ~Smile~

10 ~ Savings must be like a bill that you pay. It really helps to look at it that way and to get it into another account as soon as possible. "After all, children should not have to save up for their parents, but parents for their children." {2 Corinthians 12:14}

11 ~ An emergency savings is good to have in your house for emergencies. This also should not be touched unless you have to use it. I learned this from a book about the depression. It's so good to have on hand.

12 ~ I read Christian finance books frequently. {She then lists books by Larry Burkett, Ron Blue, Mary Hunt, Tightwad Gazette, and Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy.}

13 ~ We don't have any cable, so we don't get much reception. But I figure we have saved approximately $6000 in the past 17 years living without cable. {You could save a lot more than that these days!}

14 ~ We also do not have Internet access. Whenever we need to use the Internet, I use it at the library for free.

15 ~ I try to keep us as healthy as possible by good food with quality ingredients. "She is like the merchant ships, she brings her food from afar." I study health, nutrition, and herbs as much as I do stretching our finances. It has saved our teeth, since we don't have dental insurance. I am amazed at a woman's saving power in the home. It's such a blessing! Time is money. What we do with our time results in how our money is spent, one way or another. I keep studying Proverbs 31 and praying through the verses to learn to practice all that God would have me to practice in keeping this home. I recognize that in my home keeping ~ spiritual, emotional, and physical health is going on. It's all so invaluable that you can't put a price tag on it.

16 ~ It's so true that if you waste not, you want not. I'm always looking for ways to stretch something a little farther. "Better to go to be supperless, than to rise in debt." {Benjamin Franklin}

Part 4

Friday, April 25, 2014

Protecting Children From Sexual Abuse

Fathers and Mothers, you must be very diligent in protecting your children from sexual abuse in our society today. With sexual immorality and pornography rampant, you cannot just sit by doing nothing. Neighbors are sexually abusing little girls and boys in the bushes at the park. They do it when your children come to their home to play. It is happening. I hear about it way too often.

You must talk to your children at a very young age so they will be well educated in what is proper behavior. Get Debi Pearl's books Samuel Learns To Yell And Tell and Sara Sue Learns To Yell And Tell and read them to your child consistently even when they are very young. They need to be aware of the dangers around them so they can be prepared.

The statistics of young children being abused is alarming. Normally, the safest place for children to be is in a home with a mother and father who faithfully attend church, read the bible as a family, and pray.

Also, teach your sons the dangers of pornography. Tell them if they ever see even an image of a naked lady to flee. Explain to them that looking at that garbage will have the potential to destroy any future sexual relationship they may one day have with their wife. I wrote a post Take Porn By The Horn awhile ago and if you have sons, I would encourage you to have them read it.

We live in a very dark and decaying society. Arm your children with Truth, especially God's Truth, be careful who you allow your children to hang around with, and the pray for God's hedge of protection around them.

And whosoever shall offend one of these 

little ones that believe in me, 
it is better for him that a millstone were hanged 
about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
Mark 9:32

***You are complete in Him! His divine power 
has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Living Out Of An SUV?

Proverbs 31 can seem somewhat unrealistic to a lot of us, but do you know why I think that is? Not because it is impossible to fulfill, but because we as a culture have gone so far a field from the traditional/biblical model of family life that we just don't recognize it anymore.

What we have come to accept as "normal" is living in our SUV with a day planner, breathlessly running from meeting to meeting, activity to activity. This is a relatively recent phenomenon for women ~ ask your grandmother! And, I'm not even talking about working women. These are stay-at-home mothers who don't really stay at home very much!

Therefore, since most women nowadays do not fill the majority of their time with domestic pursuits, these verses come off as some kind of unattainable ideal.

Well sisters, I am here to tell you that this is definitely not an outdated, old-fashioned way of life. In fact, I have come to believe with my whole heart that taking God at His Word and pursuing this home-centered path results in greater peace and contentment than you may have ever known, both for you and your family. It is an abundant life.

A woman whose heart is firmly anchored in her home can from that center point stretch herself out in many different directions. Her home can become a hub of creative activity and ministry. She has the freedom to listen for the voice of the Spirit and blow in whatever direction He may lead on any given day. Always, her first priority is her husband, her children and her home.

If you find yourself aching for this less complicated and more restful existence, you can have it. But, you are going to have to really commit yourself to this goal. The enemy of our souls does not want you to have peace, rest and joy and he will try many different tactics to steer you off of this path. You have to want this and let nothing deter you from getting there.

I press toward the mark for the prize 
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:14

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Her Sex Addicted, Alcoholic Husband

Do you think you are in a miserable marriage and you just need to get out?  Would you consider your husband a jerk, an addict, or worse?  Do you see no redeeming quality in him and you have had enough?  Megan felt all of these things and she had every right to feel them.  Her husband was a sexual addict, couldn't hold down a job, and was an alcoholic.

Most everyone would counsel her that she had multiple reasons to divorce her husband.  After all, many wives divorce their husbands simply because they are unhappy.   When she was pregnant with her third child, she decided to abort the baby since her life was such a mess and was manipulated into following through at the abortion clinic.

She could easily have divorced him but she stayed with him for many years. She began to spend a lot of time in God's Word and prayer. She stopped arguing with her husband and began showing Christ's love to him.  The Bible says a believing wife sanctifies her husband.  It tells us she may win him without a word.  After many years of putting up with all of his garbage, she decided she had had enough and told him their marriage was over, but this happened ~

I was heading to church and he asked if he could go. I said if he wanted to go he could get there himself {believing this was manipulation}. I left and on my way home I saw him heading towards church. I couldn’t believe it! He came home from church and I suggested he go into a rehab program.  To my surprise he agreed and said he was ready to go into a Christian drug and alcohol restoration program. He was concerned about how we would make it financially while he was in the program since he was the bread winner. I told him not to worry about it, that God would provide {which He did miraculously}. We checked him in and it was there that he surrendered his life to Jesus Christ! It was there that Jesus took his alcohol addiction, sexual addiction and cigarette addiction away! That was in June of 2010. I never left his side as I saw that my husband was being transformed just as Saul had been to Paul!

I used to pray and ask Jesus to save my husband. I had no idea that he would give me a new amazing husband. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says: This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! This is exactly what happened to him. He is so loving, trustworthy and caring now. We had our daughter in October 2010. Since then have had one more girl and I am currently pregnant with our fifth child. 
I always loved the song Amazing Grace, but now the words have meaning to my husband and me that resonate throughout our very souls…Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. Thank You Jesus for saving these two wretches! All glory and honor to our Savior!
You can read her whole story HERE.

***You are complete in Him! His divine power 
has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Babies And Children NEED Full-Time Mothers

People say it is okay for mothers to work part-time, leaving their babies and children with others. This is not true. Babies and children need their mothers. God gave mothers breasts for a reason. They are to give consistent daily nourishment to their babies for the first year or two of their lives. Around one years old, the baby cries every time the mother leaves the room. He/she mourns being separated from mother. It is a natural, healthy instinct God has given them.

Up until WW2, mothers were consistently with their babies and children no matter how poor they were. Mothers have the nurturing nature that children need. God tells us we are to be keepers at home. This means we are to be keepers at home, raising and nurturing our own children. Listen to your heart ~ to the quiet yet insistent voice coming from deep within you and urging you to be with your baby.

The first step lies in taking a stand against the all too prevalent thinking that added income will solve all of a family's problems. If this added income means separation of mother and baby, then it may not be the solution; it may be a new source of stress. The long-range effects of separation are seldom as easy to correct as a temporary shortage of funds. Home is your base of operation, and some of your best work will be conducted in your rocking chair.

What a baby needs most is mother. Being there is the most precious gift, after life, that you can give your child. To the infant, mother is an extension of self. He feels complete only when close to her. {When Erin leaves the room for even a moment, my one-year old grandson begins wailing and crawling after her. He can be happily playing one minute with mommy in view and completely come unglued when she leaves the room.} 

All future accomplishments rest on the foundation laid in the early years. "My husband and I want to put our personal mark on our children, and unless I'm there all the time for them, our mark is weakened. The time when we have the greatest influence on each child is so short, just about five years, and then peers and other adults start to become a larger part of children's lives."

In the early years, the baby has an intense need to be with his mother that is as basic as his need for food. Mothers and babies need each other. The time a mother spends with her little one is the rich soil that nourishes motherliness. In the long run, it can affect the long-term relationship between mother and child.

It has been determined that children who don't have the benefit of a single, sustained contact with a loving mother-figure for at least the first 3 years of their lives, will manifest a diminished capacity to love others, impaired intellectual powers, and an inability to control their impulses, particularly in the area of aggression. 

A mother must make a decision about who deserves the "first call" on her time. If she decides her baby and her family deserve not just a small portion of her time but a large quantity of quality time, then she knows what she must choose. In the upcoming chapters we'll offer you a way to make being at home an economic possibility in addition to being the choice of your heart.

The words in italic are all taken from a book called The Heart Has Its Own Reasons. I encourage all of you who want to be keepers at home and the ones who raise your children to read it. It was written by La Leche League and many mothers who wrote them explaining the importance of being home and how they did it. It is not from a Christian perspective but gives profound reasons why children need their mothers home with them on a consistent basis in order to learn to properly bond with others proving what God has commanded is true.

Teach young be keepers at home.
Titus 2:5

Sunday, April 20, 2014

What Easter Really Means

When Christ died, we died. When He was buried, we were buried. When He rose again, we rose with Him and now we sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. {Ephesians 2:4-6} We are now new creatures in Christ. We are dead and freed from sin. We have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and placed into the kingdom of His dear Son.

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is free from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him; ...Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:2-11

What Christ did for us is nothing compared to Easter bunnies, eggs, and baskets. We will never be able to comprehend the grace He has bestowed upon us until we one day see Him face to face. He now calls us saints and His chosen people.

The whole plan of salvation is a beautiful love story written by the hand of God. All He asks is that we believe in Him. Then learn of Him, walk with Him, love Him and love others. He has done all the work and now lives inside of us mightily to accomplish all that He commands.

He tells us 365 times not to fear. He wants us to trust Him. He's got it 
all under control. He has conquered sin and death so now rejoice in Him always! 

This is the day that the Lord hath made;
we will rejoice and be glad in Him.
Psalm 118:24

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Laine's Letters And Paying Off Debt, Part 2

Last week, I began a series of posts from Laine's Letters on 50 ways to get out of debt. You can read the first post HERE. Every week, I will share more of what I learned from her by typing out some of her letters. She is truly a godly, wise woman and I would love to know how she is doing now. {Since this letter was written in 2005, some things are not applicable today, so I will put my two cents in!}

During this series, I am going to show you pictures of my home and ways we have saved money. Ken and I try to be very careful with our money and not be wasteful or extravagant. The above picture is our living room. The piano is the one my parents bought when I was a little girl. The rest of the furniture, I got from Craig's List from one couple for $600! It is all in great shape. {Yes, that is my cat's tail you see!}

4 ~ Save, save, save. Every paycheck, I do my best to put a little away. Even if it is only a little, it is a savings. We have a savings account, a retirement account where a sum is taken out of my husband's salary each month, and an emergency account for emergencies. "There is desirable treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but a foolish man squanders all that he has." Proverbs 21:20

5 ~ A good budget is a necessity. There are so many good Christian books on budgeting by Larry Burkett and Ron Blue among others. I can tell right where I am in a month just by checking my budget in my purse that I keep on 3X5 cards. {Then she has a Yearly Budget and a Bare Bones Budget in case her husband became ill or hurt.}

6 ~ A Freedom Account is something I learned from Mary Hunt years ago. I take my yearly expenses and divide that amount by twelve, then I know how much has to go into my Freedom Account each month for these yearly expenses when they crop up....It takes discipline, but it's so profitable once you've been trained by it.

7 ~ I do my best to keep our electrical and water bills as low as possible. When we were in an electrical crisis and our bill tripled overnight, we went into a very small, hip high refrigerator with no freezer and shut down our water heater. ...We had to heat our water to bathe and to wash dishes. It was rough for awhile, but I was able to keep us on our budget. {She admits that they had to truly sacrifice to get out of debt and this is an example of a sacrifice they made, no hot running water for a time.}

8 ~ I keep our telephone bill at $25 a month or lower. The way I've been able to do that is by using a phone card from Costco for long distance calling...We call my mother-in-law weekly and a few other calls during the month, but mostly we write letters or email. {Today, with iPhone, it makes having a phone ridiculously expensive! I have lived 55 years without an iPhone and I am sure you can to if you wanted to in order to get out of debt.}

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 asks 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

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

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. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Are You Guilty Of Idolatry?

Voddie Boucham preached a powerful message titled "Healing For Hurting Marriages." He speaks hard to women and men. Since, I teach women, I am going to share what he said to us. It would be wonderful if your husband would listen to it and hear what he had to say to men. I am not going to write the entire sermon, just the points I thought were important for women to hear ~

When a wife states that she will not submit to her husband, she is saying, "No, I am not going to submit to him. Why? Because I disagree with God. God says he's my head. However, he may have met God's qualifications for my submission but he hasn't met my qualifications for submission. Therefore, God, I out rank you which means I am violating the first commandment but there's another god besides you and that god is my standard."

An unsubmissive wife is guilty of idolatry. Who's her idol? Look in the mirror. When women or men say they are unhappy in their marriage and want out, Voddie exclaims, "The spotless sinless lamb of God the Father crushed and killed for sin that was not his own, but you, he wouldn't want unhappy? Who do you think you are? Unhappy may be right where God needs you to bring maximum glory to His own name. If your arm wasn't doing what you wanted it to do, would you cut it off? We don't have a marriage problem in our culture, we have a worship disorder. Jesus is not magnificent or worthy enough. We think far too much of ourselves and far too little of Christ."

Hard hitting stuff, I know, but most of us need it. We are walking the narrow road that leads to life and it isn't an easy road. The broad road that leads to destruction is easy and based upon our feelings and needs not on obedience to Christ and His ways.

Next time you get discouraged in your marriage, just remember that you are commanded by God to love and submit to your husband. When you love and submit to him, you are loving and submitting to God and your reward will be great. God is the one you are ultimately pleasing and He is worthy of our obedience.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
John 14:15

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