Thursday, April 23, 2015

Find a Church With the FIRE!

Too many churches in America are failing - preachers have lost the fire of God or maybe never had it.  An older man that knew my dad saw him at the store and they talked for a while.  He asked my dad where the young preachers were that had the fire of God?  There just aren't many left.  This crosses all denominations - what we need is to find a church that preaches the FULL gospel and a preacher that has the fire of God!

I thank God that I found a church that has the fire, preachers that have the fire and that after attending for 15 years - it STILL has the fire!!  I hear so many say that churches just don't preach this or that anymore but I say that MINE STILL DOES!!  I pray to God that as our church nears it's 50th anniversary in a few years that we will continue on in the fire and not lose it.

It is time to find that church - don't wait and let your soul be rocked to sleep spiritually!  You need salvation by faith, you need sanctification to be holy to live right before God and you NEED the Holy Spirit if you are going to make it!  It is black and white - it is right or wrong!  Homosexuality is still an abomination and marriage is still between a man and a woman.  God never changes and His Word stands throughout all time - no matter how "modern" this world gets, the church should stand unchanged in its doctrine!

I love this song - it says it so well!


Seek God's face today ladies - make sure you are ready to go and don't believe a doctrine built by Satan that will pacify you straight to hell!

*Here are the lyrics from Holiness Preaching Online:

The Freemans
Whatever happened to death do us part - does it all reflect the heart
Parent’s faces tell of worried minds while children search but can’t seem to find
It’s time we took a closer look – got back to living by the Holy Book
No compromise without getting slack – you see we’ll go forward, if we’ll just go back

We’ll know the trees by the fruit we see – serving God has no in between
We’re either cold or we’re hot – He said lukewarm will have no part
It’s coming down to in or out – there’s no time for playing around
We’re going back – to lost or found – we’re going back to stand our ground
(Chorus)
We’ve got to go back to living true - we’re going back to the absolute
Back to where the church stands strong - back to where there’s a right – there is a wrong
Back to where it’s black or white - you see the difference seems like day and night
We’re going back to things above - we’re going back to our first love

Modulate
Then we’ll rise like a sleeping giant standing tall in God’s strength and might
The power we claimed for so long, you see it’s returning - oh, we’re being made strong
We’re not looking to the right or the left – our eyes are spirit-led
We’re going back to true or false   - Church, we’ve got to go back to Calvary’s cross
(Repeat Chorus)
Tag:  We’re going back to where the church stands strong
We’re going back  -   we’re going back

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This Week's Menu - April 23-29

Some of the meals I made last week lasted more than one dinner and we got takeout one night, so I didn't make 2 of the meals and planned those for this week.  I will do a recipe review post soon to update on all the new recipes we have tried and how we liked or didn't like them!

I spent $100 in grass-fed ground beef and boneless, skinless chicken breasts in March and we are still using those!  Anytime I come across a sale again, I will know I can stock up on those 2 things and we will use them - we are able to make it last so long by having meatless meals several nights a week.  I still have loads of beef and chicken left, probably will end up lasting us 2 months total.  So that is basically $50 a month in meat - good quality meat!

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole - I'm tripling this
Pizza (homemade crust, sauce)
Chicken Divan (we already have this in the freezer)
Leftover Sunday (did this last weekend and worked great!)
Crockpot Sloppy Lentils (made this years ago; hubby hated it but I LOVED it! Trying it out again)
Crockpot No-Boil Manicotti
Tacos

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Part 5 - Budgeting - Living On One Income


I've blogged about budgeting in several series before - Financial Budgeting 101 and Living Debt Free.  I did want to touch on a few things about budgeting in this series for those who haven't read the other series.  Your husband can do the budget or he can defer that to you.  My husband always did the budget until the past year when he let me take over.  I'm very good with numbers and so, he has given me reign over it now.

In Part 4, we talked about the home management fund, which includes food, necessities (toilet paper, etc.), clothing and some maintenance (cleaning supplies, light bulbs, etc.).  There are still other categories left to budget for and they are:

Tithe - should always be first and foremost!
Offerings
Tax (federal, medicare, social security)
Charity
Savings/Retirement (emergency fund, college funds, etc.)
Housing (mortgage or rent)
Housing maintenance
Housing insurance (home owner's or renter's)
Utilities (electric, gas, water, garbage, sewer)
Phone & Internet (cable if you use that)
Cell Phone(s)
Security system monitoring
Gasoline for car
Car insurance
Car maintenance (repairs, oil changes, etc.)
Personal Insurance (life, disability)
Health insurance
Health Savings Account or Fund for medical bills
Vision costs (contacts/glasses, solution, exams)
Dental Insurance
Medications and/or Supplements
Job fees or Union dues
Entertainment (Netflix, books, etc.)
Restaurants
Home Management (clothing, food, necessities, small maintenance)
Miscellenous expenses (gifts, toys, etc.)
Music lessons
Vacation or trips
Hobbies

DEBT - should be zero but if you have it, get rid of it!

Yearly Expenses
Homeschool Legal Defense (if you homeschool on your own, you need this!)
Memberships (like Amazon Prime)
Car tags and registration
Property taxes
Homeschool curriculum and supplies
Identity Theft Protection

I may have missed something or there may be things you pay that aren't listed.  You need to find ways to cover the above categories based on your income.  The best way to do this is by first subtracting tithe, offerings, tax and other payroll deductions and then budgeting your take-home pay.  Most families of 4 pay anywhere from 11-15% tax, so make sure you allot for that and thank the government for their continued wise spending of your money and take joy in the increases to help them. <-- You didn't think I was being serious there did you!?

Once you write down everything you need to take care of monthly or yearly, you will get a clear picture and then be able to budget your money and purposely budget for savings instead of wondering where your money went each month.  Dave Ramsey has a new, FREE program for budgeting called Every Dollar and I use it and love it!  It includes some tutorials in the help section if you need them.  Or you can simply budget on paper - I do both.

Work on lowering the categories and eliminate those you can, to bulk up your savings.  Create funds for whatever you need or will need - car, clothing, furniture, etc.  Make sure you have an emergency fund to cover 3-6 months of expenses if your husband loses his job or until disability becomes available.  Fund your retirement so you will not burden your children when you are older (and to have something to leave them!) and so that you can support the both of you.  Fund or don't fund your children's college - that is up to each family.

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Part 4 - Home Management - Living On One Income


We've talked about why women should be homemakers in Part 1, why men should provide for their families in Part 2, and then the basis of being able to do in Part 3 on contentment.  I will do a future post answering all the questions submitted but it will be last in this series.  In this post, we are going to discuss home management, which entails everything that you are responsible for in being the manager of your home.

Home management usually (this may vary) includes the cleaning, meals, clothing and care of the children and some maintenance.  The wife usually takes care of these things as the husband is busy working outside the home to bring in the funds to run the home.  I think it is a good idea to budget a "home management" account that the wife can cover the above things and decide how much goes where and then she can also save and have spending money of her own.  We used to do it this way for years but now I do the entire budget and so I decide a lot more, but for the sake of this post - I will show you how we had done it for years while getting out of debt.

A prior pastor of ours advised my husband that if he wanted to keep his wife happy, he should give her this "home management" fund and let her split it up into the categories of care for the home and then from her hard work of learning to save, she can pocket the rest to do with as she pleases.  At the time, I was very foolish with our money and that may have influenced his advice on this but it did work for us for many years and kept me happy - though, I had to learn contentment with everything eventually as we talked about in Part 3.

We set aside $550 for our home management fund when we did it this way.  It depends on your family size but the $550 was for our family of 3 at that time.  This is how I would split that money up:

$550 Home Management Fund
- $250 food
- $90 necessities
- $30 clothing
- $30 misc.
_________________
$150 to save or spend

I sometimes could save more than $150 and I usually did spend it every month.  It was a challenge each month for me to see how much I could save and how much I would have left to have fun with.  That is how I learned to be frugal and make things homemade, etc.  I wanted more leftover of my home management money and I usually had a lot.  My husband stuck by this and only gave me the $550 and I wasn't to ask for more each month and that allowed us to pay off debt quick because he knew I wasn't going to come to him for more for this or that - he had given me a sufficient amount to cover the home needs.

That was an example of how you could do it.  Now, we simply budget categories and even budget "fun" money, so that we have a set amount each month.  I don't spend as much fun money as I used to because I began to want to finish funding our emergency fund and reach our goals, so I learned to curtail my spending to make those things happen.  Some months though - I get tired of that and I just go spend LOL!  That is ok because I'm not doing it on debt and we do have things set up in case something ever happened.

I've blogged a lot about food budgets, so there is no need to repeat all that here.  For necessities that covers things like diapers, toilet paper, shampoo, etc.  The clothing allowance is up to each family and according to how you want to do it.  We buy most of the clothing for the year with our child tax credits and then we set aside a small amount each month for unexpected clothing expenses that come up - new shoes because someone's foot grew, something gets ruined, etc.  The miscellaneous category would cover anything to do with the home that isn't food or necessities.  This would be some of the maintenance like light bulbs, cleaning supplies, etc.

Those are two ways that you can budget these things - either in a home management fund that you get every month or by simply allotting these categories into the main budget.  You know yourself - choose which one would work best for you!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Part 3 - Contentment - Living On One Income


I know all about this one as I've lived it, was able to come to the place of true contentment and am still practicing being content no matter the future decisions.  I can say that I've been there, done that and bought the entire collection.  What am I talking about?  Contentment.

If a wife learns to be content with what her husband provides, she will save herself, her husband and her children a lot of needless problems.  I admit that I was NOT content in the early years of our marriage because I didn't fully understand what was really important in life.  All I could see is what we didn't have and there was always something more I wanted.  This caused problems with our marriage and with our finances.

As a wife, you must learn contentment and learn to be content with what your husband provides.  If you don't, you will be that millstone, that nag, that brings everyone down.  You will squander the family finances on your discontent and tear down your house with your own hands as the Bible speaks of.  If I could go back in time and talk to my younger self - I would slap her and tell her to look around and how blessed she is and quit belly-aching about what she didn't have!!  Obviously I can't do that but thankfully God did, over time, let things come our way that made me "wake up" to the fact that I was not a good wife.

Some husbands can never pay off debt or even save a dime because their wives blow it all on stupid stuff they didn't even need.  The ironic thing is, this same wife that squanders all the money, will have the gumption to blame her husband for not providing for her needs later on when she spent all the money and can't buy a loaf of bread.  Most husbands would get tired of this kind of woman and who could blame them?

I never have anything.  I haven't bought a new dress in 2 years.  The kids need new shoes.  This house needs repairs.  Tommy needs more diapers.  And on and on...  What about the money that you spent on Mcd's?  Or how about the $200 you spent on that new electronic you had to have so bad?  See - nobody wants to face themselves when the hard times come, especially wives!  They want to blame the husband, when in most cases it is shown that women are the big spenders; not men.

It is time to wake up to the important things in your life ladies!  Look around you at your children and what your husband has provided you with and BE THANKFUL!!  That is contentment really - a thankful heart.  A thankful heart will not whine about all it doesn't have.  A thankful heart will be overwelmed with all it does have. 

Your not going to make it on one-income with an unthankful, discontented, greed-full heart and if you do, you will do it with DEBT!  You will find the way to spend money you don't have and that is what state most Americans are in today.  Don't spend what you don't have by learning contentment!

This post, if applied, will save you life-long marital and financial battles!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Part 2 "The Why" for Men - Living On One Income


In Part 1, we talked about "the why" for women and now in Part 2, we will discuss "the why" for men.  I know that this is a blog for women but believe it or not, I do have male readers.  I'm mostly blogging this for women but hey, the men need to hear this too, especially in this effeminate society we have today.

I'm going to be very blunt here, so if you get offended, consult God's Word and then tell Him off.  There is no way around it - a real man, a real husband, will not put his wife on a job.  *dodging rocks*  I remember a preacher that used to say that you shouldn't prostitute your wife out on a job and that has a lot of truth to it.  Men throughout time took care of their families.  At some point in American society, most likely when women became domineering, men lessened their manhood.  Throughout all time, wives were a "help meet" to their husbands by keeping the home, bearing and raising their children and making a home of peace as a resting place from their husband's daily work outside the home.

A man should provide for his family, he shouldn't depend on his wife helping out.  A real man, that has a pair as the saying goes, will be man enough to provide enough.  He doesn't need his wife to bring in income, he is man enough to do it himself.  WOW!  Where are those type of men?  This isn't just for Christians - all men used to think this was their duty - you know, back when divorce rates were less and women were called ladies?  It should affect a man's manhood if his wife is having to help him provide, he should feel bad about it.

God made men the head and their head is Christ and we are under man's headship.  That doesn't mean we are dogs to be trampled on; as a Godly man will love his wife as Christ loved the church!  That means that you are his flower, his soft, feminine woman and he is your manly man that will do all to provide so that you can fulfill your Godly duty at home.  THAT is a man!

Ok, enough about what I said - what does God say about all this?  Well, God doesn't hold back - He goes so far as to say that a man is WORSE than an infidel if he doesn't provide for his own. OUCH GOD - you should be softer in your words, you might offend somebody.

1 Timothy 5:8
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

That verse is saying that those that aren't providing or won't provide for their own (his own house) are guilty of two things:

  1. Denied the faith - men that don't provide for their families are denying the faith or in other words, they have rejected the gospel!
  2. WORSE than an infidel - men that don't provide for their families are not just compared to infidels, or men that are heathen, they are WORSE than them!  Even heathens and pagans believe you should take care of your own.

That flies in the face of the modern-day Christian teaching of everything goes and everything is ok as long as you said a little prayer.  If you can do something that equals rejecting the gospel and being worse than the heathen - then, I would think it would be ok to assume that are you are no longer a Christian.  But that is another post in itself.

God used strong words because this is a serious thing!  Men should take care of their families; women should never feel that they have to do it.  I believe that this would include men preparing for situations such as: losing their job, becoming disabled or their death.  If men prepared for these things by having disability insurance, emergency funds and life insurance, then their family would still be taken care of.  There are some times when the man becomes so disabled he cannot work and if he didn't prepare ahead with disability insurance, he will find it hard to support his family on his disability income from the government in some cases.  That is where it is up to each family to decide if the wife must work but in most cases, she just needs to be content with his income if it is truly enough.

Adam Clarke's commentary speaks of nature teaching us these things, these are foundational things that shouldn't change:

"For what are called the dictates of nature lead men to feel for and provide for their own families."

Barnes commentary goes on to say even more in support of the preparations that men should think about concerning their families:

"The meaning is, that the person referred to is to think beforehand of the probable needs of his own family, and make arrangements to meet them.  ...according to our measure, we are to anticipate what will be the probable needs of our families, and to make arrangements to meet them.  ...We may hence learn that it is possible to deny the faith by conduct as well as by words; and that a neglect of doing our duty is as real a denial of Christianity as it would be openly to renounce it."

Men should provide and that includes prepare.  Why should a woman have to even worry about what to do in the event of her husband's death?  Why should she have to worry about working if he becomes disabled?  She shouldn't, if he prepared for these things ahead of time.  She should never have to face such things and I think that is where you find a lot of scared women holding on to their jobs as their "security" for the future, when they should be able to trust in their husband and most importantly, God.  Men should be man enough to have wives that don't fear the future, or in that matter, even the present.  She should also not spend his earnings foolishly and destroy her own family with her own greed but that is the next post.

So women, let the men have their pants back and men, put them on!

Christian Homekeeping © All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Part 1 "The Why" for Women - Living On One Income


I'm starting a series about Living On One Income in hopes of helping those that are on the fence about doing so and continuing to encourage and help those that are doing so. Obviously you know that we live on one income, my husband's, and I'm a homekeeper. The first post in this series is going to be about “why” you should live on one income as a Christian woman.

God intended for women to marry, bear children and keep the home and that is a full-time commitment. When you step outside of God's design, you live on the arm of flesh financially as you don't really 'need' God anymore in that regard. You also forsake what scripture told you not to – bearing children and loving your husband.

Titus 2:4-5
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.

1 Timothy 5:14
I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house...

I've talked to MANY women over the years that are older than me, even my own mother and these women have come to the place of being able to admit their regrets of not doing God's Word. They have grown children that want nothing to do with them or have distant relationships because they weren't really there for them growing up. They were off working on a job and their child(ren) came home to an empty house. When mom did come home, she was grumpy and tired and the last thing she wanted to do was cook, clean or spend time with her children. I experienced this type of mother. All she could do was collapse from fatigue, agonize over everything that had to be done and end the day rubbing my head as I felt her guilt pour over her that she couldn't be more for me. It is one thing to be forced into this life by being a single mother but it is another thing to CHOOSE it as a married woman. We will have to give an account for how we spent our lives, time and obedience to God's Word and order for the family.

If I could turn back time... as the song goes. I hear it all the time from mothers telling me to keep doing what I'm doing and how they wish they could have done the same. They would give anything to go back and have that time with their children and not just their children but also their husband, who was also neglected. Do they remember the “stuff” they bought with the money they made? No. Most of the time the women I talk to, remember the TIME they were NOT there when they should have been. That is a miserable life to live in your later years – years of regret that God has to heal. I've always said that I want to be in my rocking chair when I'm old and smile on all those memories of me and my children and husband – all the fun we had, meals I prepared out of love, special treats I made for them that lit up their faces, being available for my husband and how I taught my children their education and raised them up in God's Word. Stuff won't matter then – it will be the memories and hopefully, my children and their children around me and seeing the legacy live on.

So, what is it mom that drives you to work? Most say it is because they “have to” and we all know that isn't true because you are surrounded by so many that make it and what about God - does He not provide anymore? Isn't it rather greed? Money for what? More stuff. Or maybe you say it is because you need to feel a “purpose” in life. Since when is God's purpose of being a wife, mother and homekeeper not enough for you? Who are you listening to? Others will say it is because they can't stand their kids. Well, that is easy to fix – if you were the parent that you are supposed to be and trained your children properly, you would LOVE to be around them!! People that say they can't stand their kids are really saying that they choose to not train them to be loveable kids or maybe their children are acting out because they are not receiving the attention they need. Or maybe sometimes it is in the mirror – they are mimicking you and that is what you cannot stand.

Those are all excuses because it isn't money you need, it isn't more greed you need, it isn't a purpose you need or to get away from your children – it comes down to needing to be who you were made to be and you will never be happy (now or when you are older) until you fulfill your God-given role.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

"Poor" - Depends On Who You Ask

We discussed what real wealth is in my previous post and how if you have no debt and some cash in your pocket, you are in the top 75% of Americans.  We had an ER bill that my insurance denied coverage saying it didn't meet "medical criteria" for a medical emergency.  On the third try, someone finally got it covered and upon notifying the hospital billing, I found out that they had already zeroed out the bill because they consider us poor.  We are so poor that they don't require any payment from us at all for our future hospital or ER visits - it is all covered at 100% and that is without insurance even.  We are poor according to who you ask...

Poor - hmm, I don't feel poor.  We have a nice 1500 sq. ft mobile home we rent that has 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms with big walk-in closets and our master bathroom has a garden tub.  We have a large pantry room between our living and dining rooms and we have a locked, electric-provided shed to use as storage and a nice-sized yard with a large deck.  Not just that but we drive a car that we own.  We have high-speed internet at 100 Mbps, a home phone and even a cell phone.  We buy healthy food and most of it is organic and we sometimes eat out.  We don't have any government assistance and buy insurance for most of the crucial things.  This is what "poor" looks like to our state.

It was great to know our bill was taken care of but then it was weird thinking that they consider my husband's pay covering the 4 of us as poverty.  I thought poverty was where you live in shack, only have rice and beans all day and have no transportation.  Our family is poor but we are richer than 25% of Americans put together as we have no debt.  Compared to the world - we are in the 1%, as are most Americans.

I laugh at the thought of us being "poor."  It just isn't so.  I'm guessing they get those numbers based on family size by going by the "average" American that has debt up to their eyeballs and mortgages that are too big for their income.  We are part of the "weird" Americans that have no debt and plan only buying a house that they can afford at 25% of our pay and save for the future - and that makes us "poor" to the government (who is in debt up to their eyeballs btw).

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

This Week's Menu - April 16-22

We are slowly moving back to more meatless meals as my cholesterol is high for the first time in my life and some other things that I believe came from our daily intake of meat the past 6 months or so.  I also miss my bean meals and there are so many new meals I have on a list to try in the coming months and I will try to link to them.

Our breakfast and lunches are usually oatmeal, bean tostados, pbj or burritos along with fresh fruits and veggies.  We are eating way more fruits and vegetables than we have in past years and it is something I want to keep doing, even our $250 a month budget, we are finding how to afford it - adding more meatless meals in or meals that are cheap to make.

Dinners
Chicken Tikka Masala over Basmati brown rice (I use homemade Garam Masala)
Pizza (homemade crust, sauce)
Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole
Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole - I'm tripling this
Rice and Bean Casserole
Crockpot Sloppy Lentils (made this years ago; hubby hated it but I LOVED it! Trying it out again)

Desserts and Goodies to make Homemade
Oat scones (we love these!!)
Granola bars
Muffins
Homemade Chai Mix

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Sunday, April 12, 2015

How Do You Determine Real Wealth?

My financial posts on this blog are becoming some of the most read posts of my entire blog and I love writing about financial things and seems like others like reading it, so before I start the series on Living On One Income, I wanted to talk about wealth.

Most people think of wealth as making a lot of income but that is not true wealth.  I know people that make large amounts of income that are poor and I know people that make low amounts of income that are wealthy.  What wealth really comes down to is what your net worth is.  What does net worth mean?

Net Worth = Assets - Debts

Your net worth is a true indicator of your financial situation.  That is how you can make $100K a year but the guy next to you that makes $30K could be wealthier than you because he has no debt.  As the saying goes, when the dirt hits the fan, you will find out what your financial situation is.  (That is the "Christianized" version of that saying)  What happens when the income stops - are you rich or poor?

If you have zero debt and $10 in your pocket, you have more wealth than 25% of Americans put together!  This is because 25% of Americans are in debt and  that gives them a negative net worth.  If the banks and lenders called for their payments in full today - how many Americans would be destitute?  That is why it is good to owe no one, pay your debts and be a lender, not a borrower.

You can use this website to calculate your net worth: http://cgi.money.cnn.com/tools/networth/networth.html You can see what your assets are (savings, retirement, possessions, stocks/bonds, etc.) and then subtract your debts (mortgage, credit, etc.) and you will see what your financial situation really is.

Most Americans do not even pay off their mortgages in their lifetime.  They refinance, they take out loans against their homes and by doing this, they spend their lives with a negative net worth.  In America, you can have a 3,000 square foot home and luxury cars in the driveway and be POOR!  In America, you can live in a trailer with a junker in the driveway and be wealthy!  Isn't that amazing?

Was Jesus for taking from the rich and giving to the poor, or wealth equality as they call it today?  Jesus likened the kingdom of heaven to a man that took from the one that had less and gave it to the one with more, who was more responsible with his money!  Matthew 25 

Real wealth is being wise with God's money, yes I said God's money because as a Christian you should understand that the money you receive is God's.  Once you acknowledge that, you will want to treat His money in a correct way and not squander it.  You will also pay tithe of 10% of all your increase - that is, if your heart is in the right place but that is another blog post.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Mailbag: Ask Me Anything - Living On One Income

I'm going to start a new blog series about living on one income and this is your chance to ask questions and I will post them, along with my answer, in future posts. 

This is anonymous, so if you want your name to appear in the question, you will need to put it there.  If you don't want to use the box, you can simple leave a comment to this post.  Hope to get some questions!




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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Our Baby Memorial From Shutterfly

I wanted to make a memorial of some sort of the baby we lost 2 months ago and I finally decided on a desktop plaque.  I ordered it from Shutterfly on Monday night and expected to get it in about 2 weeks as it usually takes a week to make and then a week to ship on average.  Yesterday, I got a shipping notice - I could not believe they made it so fast!  Then, today I got it!  Not only did someone over at Shutterfly make it so soon, they overnighted it.  I was so pleased, I emailed the company to thank them - I can't imagine that was just a coinicendence.

I took the 4 ultrasounds we had of the baby - it starts at the top left and goes to the top right, then to the bottom left and the last one is on the bottom right.  The one on the bottom left is the last time we saw the baby alive at 12 weeks.  Then, the bottom right, you can see the baby was dead, had shrunk and had been decaying.  It was already safe in Jesus' arms but since we don't know the exact week or day it died, we chose to put the day we found out and my body started letting it go.  This is so special to me!


Also, a friend of mine gave me this drawing of Jesus holding a baby.  She said it helped her through her miscarriage as well.  It touched me that she thought of me and gave it to me.


Here is the plaque sideways, so you can see how it is made:




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Saturday, March 21, 2015

This Week's Menu - March 21-27

We tried the Chana Saag last week and we LOVE it!  I ate the leftovers the next day and I'm still craving more, so I put it on the menu for this week.  We had the Chicken Tikka Masala today and OH MY, hubby loved it and kept saying so all through dinner and afterwards and he said, "You are going to blog about that right?"  I liked it and so did my son but my daughter didn't so much, she gave it a 3 stars.


Just about every Indian dish we try, we are are loving, so I'm going to try more Indian dishes in the future, any recommendations?

*Also, just a note for those that have been long-time readers - I no longer can use Azure's hard white whole wheat to make my bread, pizza, muffins, etc. because I was able to find that it was one of the problem foods for me and now I use Azure's white flour; so I use a new pizza recipe that I linked to above.  We have used that recipe many times and for friends that came over too and they loved it!  I still use my original pizza sauce I have listed on the blog somewhere (sorry, didn't have time to dig up the link).

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Monday, March 16, 2015

I'll Never Be The Same

Romans 8:18

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

This miscarriage has changed me so much that I don't feel I will ever be the same.  It changed me in a good way, some things that I needed changed that I didn't even realize.  It sparked something inside.  It built up my faith by bringing it down to the test of my life.  I felt those feelings of God not there - I related to Jesus in a small way.  I was alone in the garden praying when others fell asleep but I couldn't stop as it was me that was getting ready to go through what I did - alone.  I got a taste of the sufferings of Jesus in so many ways the past few years.

I got woken up to the feeling of the grief of death, which I had never really felt before as I've only lost an aunt when I was young.  Sure, I've had miscarriages but they were so early, they didn't really make me grieve in the way this one did.  I got a taste of the future of life - grieving of losing those I love, it is inevitable and will come.  I think to myself - Oh God, do we have to bear this?  Can't you just come soon so I won't have to see the death of my parents and others I know?  Then, I think of those that need the extra time before Christ comes to be saved and I see my selfishness.  God, Your grace is sufficient.

I'll never be the same.  God has already started moving in amazing ways in my life, in my soul, my heart and my mind.  He burned off the dross.  I survived the fire.  Here I am Lord.....my eyes are open.

Friends, let God fine-tune you through your trials.  You can let them make you or you can let them ruin you - we have the choice!  "Refine me O Lord!" should always be our prayer and like Paul, we can thank God for our sufferings - it is what makes us better.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.


*I don't agree with everything to do with T.D. Jakes or his beliefs but found this message to be encouraging.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2015

This Week's Menu - March 11-18

Here are our dinners for this week - the Chana Saag is new to us, so not sure how it will turn out.


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