"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

Monday, January 30, 2012


Are you content?  What is contentment?

Defintion of content: satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.

I'm wondering how many people can say that they are truly content.  I know I struggle with it.  I've found that as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus and what things He has given me in this life, and have an attitude of thankfulness, I am content.  But, what usually happens is that my eyes go elsewhere.  I start looking at other people and envy sets in.  Not in a huge way, but it creeps in subtley.

Many of you know I struggle with being satisfied with the house I live in (by the way, thank you so much to everyone who called my home beautiful on a recent post...that brightened my day!).  I'm FINE...as long as I just look at all that I love about the house, and thank God for it.  As soon as I start comparing with other people, well....of course I won't be content anymore, because the fact of the matter is that most people who live in this area have nice new houses!  The key is thankfulness for what we individually have.

I also do this with the amount of children I have, and I KNOW that is not a good thing, but I bet this happens to many of you also, and this just shows how much a spirit of discontentment can creep in.  One second, I'm looking at someone with a baby and being jealous that I don't have one, or that I'm not pregnant.  The next second, I'm looking at someone who has already raised all their kids, and I'm jealous of all their free time.  Next I'm jealous of the woman who has 9 kids, and I have 4....and on and on and on.

By the way, that topic brings up another issue I've had concerns with along the lines of contentment.  When we surrender our childbearing to the Lord, it goes both ways.  What I mean is, not only are we saying we are willing to bear as many children as He calls us to, we also NEED to be saying that we will be content with however many children He wants to give us.  I was a little disturbed when I read a post by a blogger that I love and respect, who was saying that we should be telling God, "more babies!  Give me more babies!"  Yes, we need to be open and willing to have more babies, and even excited to have them.  But careful!--even this can move into greed and discontentment!  We should be saying, "Your will, Lord...whatever you give me I will accept and be happy with".  His will for you might not include more babies.  With this we should be content.

I am not my neighbor, and my neighbor isn't me.  God gives each of us what He chooses.  There's a reason why God put "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's stuff "(paraphrased!) in the ten commandments.

"And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content." 1 Timothy 6:8

"...be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."" Hebrews 13:5

Thank you God for what You've given me, and help me to be content with what I have!

This post is linked up at:

Domestically Divine Tuesday
Titus 2sdays
Raising Homemakers Homemaking Link-Up
Hearts 4 Home

Friday, January 27, 2012

Frugal Meal Friday:Italian Vegetable Beef Soup

  • 1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 can green beans, drained (or use frozen)
  • 1 can corn, drained (or use frozen)
  • 2-3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 T. dry minced onion
  • 1 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
Start this in the morning! First, saute the carrots in a little bit of olive oil.  Then put all ingredients into a slow cooker, and stir gently.  Cook on high until rice is cooked, then turn down to low the remainder of the day.  If you end up starting this later in the day, just keep it on high, about 4-6 hours.

This is kid friendly soup (at least in my house!), as my younger kids don't like chunks of tomatoes or onions in their soups.  If your family likes those things, you could put a can of chopped tomatoes instead of tomato sauce, and fresh chopped onion instead of the dried minced.

A couple of notes: When I made this today, which is what the picture shows, I was low on ground beef.  So, I only used 1/2 lb. of it, and put extra rice in (3/4 cup), plus 3 carrots instead of 2.  When I have celery on hand, I will chop up a couple of ribs, saute it with the carrots, and add it in also. This is a really versatile soup!  Enjoy!

This post is linked up at:

Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways
Gluten Free Wednesdays
Raising Homemakers Homemaking Link-up
Hearts 4 Home

Monday, January 23, 2012

If You Give a Mom a Muffin


 "If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three-year-old will spill the coffee. She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks which will remind her that she still has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger and look for her cookbook (101 Things To Make With A Pound Of Hamburger). The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two-year-old. While she is changing the two-year-old, the phone will ring. Her five-year-old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself one. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have already eaten the muffin that was supposed to go with it.
Ha ha ha....I can relate to this, can you???  God bless!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Some Preparedness Tips...

Our humble home in the snowy woods.

I am currently in a preparedness situation!  We have been snowed in for days, with no power and no water.  There are many things that I did ahead of time that I'm thankful for, and there are some things that were neglected that I've added to my future preparedness plans.  Actually, most of the neglected items were on my list to "to dos", but didn't get done because we just haven't had any money lately.  Anyway, I thought I would share what I've learned during this time.

Ways I was prepared:

  • A house full of food, including a pantry of canned goods
  • Stored drinking water (phew!!)
  • Stored washing/flushing water
  • A working generator with gas stored (it wasn't enough, but thankfully we were able to obtain more)
  • Laundry had been completely done before the power/water disappeared, so we haven't ran out of clothes (so far).
  • I stocked up on diapers and bought baby wipes (I don't always have wipes, when we're broke I just used a wash cloth.  That would have been tough with no water!)
  • A full bottle of hand sanitizer (very handy! stock up on it!) 
  • Stored matches and candles

What I wish I would have done to prepare:
  • Stored more drinking water
  • Big one:  I wish I would have stocked up on paper plates, bowls, plastic utensils, and cups!  Yikes--I have a pile of dishes I can't wash!  Well, I've washed some, but it's tough, so mostly they're just sitting there waiting for running water.  Do this!
  • Stored more fuel for generator
  • Stocked up on more canned meats: salmon, chicken, beef, etc.

I'm anticipating a few more days of this, but hopefully it will be less.  However, if this were an earthquake situation, which is very much a probable happening around here, it would likely be a lot longer period of time that we would be on our own.  So, as much as I can, I am stepping up my preparedness efforts in order to make sure we are prepared for such a happening.

God bless you as you prepare and care for your families!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What is with "Gluten Free", Anyway?

I don't like fads, and I don't like being associated with one.  So I get a little frustrated that the gluten free "fad" somewhat discredits those of us who have serious issues with gluten, and who have had a significant turn around in health since giving it up.  I am so thankful that the Lord gave me wisdom when I prayed, and showed me what was causing so many health issues in myself, and my daughter.  I thought I would share my story on here just in case it could help someone else.

I don't think everyone should eat gluten free, and I don't think wheat is evil (well at least not to everyone, hee hee).  I do know, however, that the wheat we have today has been hybridized many times over the years, and it is not the same wheat that our forefathers ate for thousands of years.  Hence the gluten intolerance problem in so many people.

My story is as follows.  I suffered from stomach pain ever since I was a little girl.  It was sharp pain up near my ribs, that was so painful that I wasn't able to stand up.  If I would lie down, it would feel better, then when I tried to stand up it would hurt again.  The pain was so sporadic and unpredictable, and didn't seem to be related to something specific.  I never knew when it would show up, so as you can imagine sometimes it would suddenly show up at inconvenient times.  I remember going to a skating rink for my 9th birthday, and having to go home before the skating even started, leaving all my friends to celebrate without me, because the pain was so bad that I had to lie down. 

This went on for years and years, following me into adulthood.  I just learned to tolerate it, because it wasn't all of the time.  I would have many days of no pain, and then when the pain hit, I would lie down to feel better.  It was just how it was, and I really didn't give it much thought other than, "that's just the way my stomach is".

Then in 2008, it actually really started bugging me.  The pain started occurring more frequently, and lasting for longer periods of time when it did show up.  I got tired of it.  I had 3 busy children, and didn't have time to lie around all the time with stomach aches.  I prayed for wisdom.

Honestly, I can't remember how and when the wisdom came to me, I just know God gave it to me.  Over several months time, the term gluten free kept coming up.  I would basically ignore the idea, because cutting wheat out of my diet just seemed way too impossible.  But it kept popping up and popping up, like God was continually putting it in front of my face and saying, "Look at this!".  So one day, I just said, "okay, alright--I will try it for one month and see if makes a difference!  But that's it--only a month."  I honestly didn't expect any results.

Well, a month was not needed.  Within a week, I knew gluten was the culprit.  I could just tell.  I felt different.  I felt better...and well.  That was it.  I never touched gluten again after that...I had no desire.  The first couple of days, it was hard.  I cried with frustration, because it seemed like I couldn't eat anything.  But that part passed quickly, and I felt great afterwards.

The stomach pain....completely disappeared.  It was amazing.  I went gluten free for that reason, but then I was pleasantly surprised by all the other improvements that started happening.  My migraines disappeared.  Depression lifted.  PMS....GONE (and I got that pretty bad).  Bloated tummy disappeared.  It became so apparent that all of these years my body had been battling gluten.

Praise the Lord for the wisdom he gave me!  These days, there are times when I accidentally ingest gluten, usually because someone feeds it to me by mistake, and I can tell.  And I'm reminded again why I don't eat it!

A few months after I quit gluten, I was sitting at the kitchen table with my daughter Annamarie (then 10 years old).  We were supposed to be homeschooling, but she was sitting there crying.  Again.  This seemed to happen every day...she couldn't function and she just cried.  I was so frustrated and asked her what the problem was, and why she was always like that.  She said, "I don't know.  I just feel sick and I always feel sick."

A lightbulb when on in my head at that moment.  I told her that since I now knew that my body is sensitive to gluten, it was highly likely that gluten was bothering her also.  I told her that we were going to cut it out of her diet and see if it helped.  She wasn't excited about it, but she was tired of feeling sick so was willing to do it.

Once again, it was like night and day.  She was a whole new person.  PRAISE GOD for the wisdom yet again!  I thank Him over and over for this.  If I had not known it was gluten, what an unpleasant existence the two of us would have had these last few years!  Now, Annamarie is a happy, healthy 13 year old girl, with a happy, healthy mom!  I am so grateful!

So that is our story.  Like I said at the beginning, not everyone needs to eat gluten free, and most people wouldn't want to!  We are so used to it now that it doesn't bother us, but the beginning can be hard.  I hope this information can help someone that may need to make this change in their diet also.  God bless you as you seek His wisdom.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Are Homeschoolers Being Prepared for the "Real World"?

There are many concerns that non-homeschooling types have about homeschooled children.  One of the most frequently asked questions is, "how will they be prepared for the real world?"

I would like to start by saying that my main concern for my children, as they grow into adults, is not for them to blend into the world.  My greatest desire for my children is that they love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul and strength, that they have a passion for Jesus Christ, and that they feel like strangers and aliens on this earth, longing for their real home.  I want them to be set apart, lights to the world, salt to the earth, an example of Jesus to the lost.  I want them to see sin as God sees it, despise it, and run from it.

Now in answer to the opening question, I would like to turn things around and ask you this: are public schooled kids being prepared for the "real world"?

I grew up in the public school system.  I don't know about the rest of you, but school always seemed to be a world of it's own.  There was that environment--often cruel--that I went to during the day, and then there was the rest of the world.  That was honestly how I saw it.

Children in the public school system are age-segregated.  They learn to spend most of their days with people their exact age (Proverbs 13:20- He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed).  Is that what the real world is like?  Of course not.  Homeschooled children are with people of all ages at all times, and so they learn early to communicate well with adults.  I've often been complimented on the fact that my chidren relate so well with older people. 

The classroom environment is an artifical environment.  It is NOT real life.

Real life--the "real world", or what SHOULD be considered the real world--is functioning within a family, and children who are homeschooled spend most all of their time with their family.  They learn the ins and outs of how to run a household; they see it lived out day after day.  These kids, when grown adults, will be well equipped to take on their own households and raise their own families.

Homeschooled children have strong relationships with their parents and siblings, that are being built upon all the time, as the parents teach and train them how to relate in a Godly manner.  Their parents have to time to continually train them in this area because they are with them all the time.  Because of this, there are strong family bonds and the children are used to stable relationships.  This prepares them for future relationships with co-workers, spouses, children, in-laws, etc.  Real world stuff?You bet!

Most importantly, my homeschooled children are being taught every day how to go to Jesus for what they need, in every circumstance.  If they have Jesus, well...they have everything!

Now, I admit my hubby has even had concerns here.  His biggest concern is the fact that no one has to get up and get out the door at a certain time, and he wants the children to be prepared to be good employees (the boys especially) and get to a job on time.  I think this can be remedied by a)teaching them to get up and get things done at a certain time, even though they don't have to go anywhere, and b)letting them get part time jobs as they get older, so they have to be accountable to others, and they get that experience.

So, yes, I believe that homeschoolers are being well prepared for the real world!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It's Okay to Be Home!

I've been thinking a lot about how much it benefits a child to have his mom at home, as well as the benefits of his being homeschooled. Just think about it.  The child gets up in the morning without having to be rushed out the door, to go to daycare or school.  He gets to hang out in his house all day long, with his mom and siblings.  Everyone eats breakfast together; there is no hurried breakfast or big rush out the door without.  There are many cuddles from mommy and loves from siblings throughout the day.  Story time with mommy.  Play time with sissy. Can you tell I'm really thinking about my toddler here?  But this topic applies to all the kids, all the way up to my 16 year old.

I am so grateful that I'm able to have everyone home all day, and that I'm able to be here.  There is so much pressure in society these days to be "out".  I used to feel that to be doing anything of value, the kids and I had to be out of the house several  hours in the week.  I thought that it wasn't okay to be home most of the time. I thought that I needed to fill our calendar with numerous activities, in order to be doing a good job as a mom.

What a lie!

That is simply not true, in spite of the way that most of the people in this country live.  It's not only okay to be home most of the time, it's GOOD.  I think it really benefits children to be home the majority of the time.  Home is where the heart is, and life should revolve around the home.  Home is not just a place to sleep!  It's a place of love, of training, of discipleship. 

I'm not saying that we never go out of the house.  I'm also not saying that it's bad to go out of the house.  But the Lord has taught me that being home--a LOT-- is all good, for everyone.

It's okay to be home!  If there are women reading this who have been struggling with this topic, please take heart.  Enjoy your home, and don't worry about everything "out there".  Savor the moments.  Enjoy your family.  This is what it's all about!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Do Not Worry

Hi everyone, I apologize for being absent for sooo long!  Christmas time got busy, and there just wasn't time for blogging.  It was a wonderful time, though, and honestly I was really sad to see it end.  It seemed to go so fast!  So here we are....onto a new year!

My wonderful husband installed a new kitchen floor for me for Christmas, and I am enjoying it very much!  Some of you may remember my posts last year about our kitchen remodel.  It started last January, and still isn't all the way done, but it's almost there.  It's been an amazing transformation!  The old kitchen was unfinished and ugly, and now my kitchen is sooo pretty!  I'm very thankful. Anyone who has seen my house before we did any work on it, can REALLY appreciate this.  I may post before and after pictures eventually.

I've been battling some mild lethargy and depression, that I really think is related to the huge amounts of sugar that I consumed over the holidays.  I am cutting back on sugar, hoping that will help.  The miscarriage did leave me very anemic, but I've been taking iron for awhile now so that should be getting better.

I've also come to a sort of crisis of faith regarding being a homemaker.  My husband has pretty much been out of work since the middle of 2008...there are little jobs that pop up here and there that keep us afloat...but no "real" job.  Sometimes I struggle with having faith, and this month has been one of those times.  I've had to really think, "Do I really believe that God has called me to be a keeper at home, even NOW?"  The answer is yes, but I do struggle, and I've asked God for more faith.  I have, however, been trying to come up with ways to help bring in income from home.

The sermon this week at church was just what I needed to hear.  It was on Matthew 6, which I have read many, MANY times, but it was really good to read it again:

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

O ye of little faith...yep, that's me!  Shame on me.  Even though the circumstances don't look good, and they seem to drag on fooorrreeeevvvver.....God knows.  He knows what I need, and if I seek HIS kingdom first, He will take care of the rest.

Blessings to all of you, as you begin another year in HIM.